President Obama, Prime Minister Abe come together at Pearl Harbor

World Today

President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo are photographed at the start of a bilateral meeting at Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii, Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Putting 75 years of resentment behind them, the leaders of the United States and Japan are coming together at Pearl Harbor for a historic pilgrimage to the site where a devastating surprise attack sent America marching into World War II.

CCTV America’s Mark Niu reports.

President Obama, Prime Minister Abe come together at Pearl Harbor

Putting 75 years of resentment behind them, the leaders of the United States and Japan are coming together at Pearl Harbor for a historic pilgrimage to the site where a devastating surprise attack sent America marching into World War II. CCTV America's Mark Niu reports.

Although Japanese leaders have visited Pearl Harbor before, Abe was the first to visit the memorial constructed on the hallowed waters above the sunken USS Arizona.

“I offer my sincere and everlasting condolences” to the fallen U.S. troops, Abe said, while standing beside Obama in Hawaii.

For Obama, it’s likely the last time he will meet with a foreign leader as president, White House aides said. It’s a bookend of sorts for the president, who nearly eight years ago invited Abe’s predecessor to be the first leader he hosted at the White House.

Speaking at the occasion, which he called a “historic gesture,” President Obama called on the lesson from Pearl Harbor and the following reconciliation to be that “even when hatred burns hottest…we must resist the urge to turn inward.”

“There is more to won in peace than in war,” the U.S. President said.

For Abe, it’s an act of symbolic reciprocity, coming six months after Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima in Japan, where the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb in hopes of ending the war it entered after Pearl Harbor.


Shihoko Goto discuss the significance of Abe’s visit

For more on the significance of Abe’s visit and the future of US-Japan relations, CCTV America’s Asieh Namdar spoke to Shihoko Goto, senior Northeast Asia associate at the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Asia Program in Washington, D.C.


Jia Xiudong talks about Abe’s visit to Pearl Harbor

China’s Foreign Ministry said Abe’s visit to Pearl Harbor will not resolve all issues from World War II. China wants Tokyo to take full responsibility for the Nanjing massacre and slave laborers it used during the war. For more on can Japan really turn this page without reconciliation from China and other victimized countries in Asia? CCTV America’s Elaine Reyes spoke to Jia Xiudong. He’s a Senior Research Fellow at the China Institute of International Studies.