Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s planned visit to Pearl Harbor late this month — the first by an incumbent leader of Japan — should serve to confirm the reconciliation between World War II enemies that have become close allies over the postwar decades. In paying tribute at the site of the December 1941 Japanese attack that drew the United States into World War II, Abe will be reciprocating Barack Obama’s historic pilgrimage in May to Hiroshima — the first by a sitting American president to the city devastated by the 1945 U.S. atomic bombing. The Dec. 26-27 trip to Hawaii, where Abe plans to hold his last summit with Obama, may also serve to highlight the crucial importance of the bilateral relationship for the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump, whose views toward the alliance remain unclear.

But if such a symbolic gesture of reconciliation is to be valued between the two allies today, the Abe administration should also take more proactive steps to achieve full reconciliation with Japan’s East Asian neighbors that suffered from this nation’s wartime aggression and colonial rule — which has apparently not been achieved more than 70 years after the war.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.