Japanese tourists, Hawaiian locals view of Abe’s Pearl Harbor visit

World Today

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s recent trip to Pearl Harbor made waves.

While U.S. representatives hailed it as an important step toward reconciliation, China said Japan cannot turn the page of history without reconciliation with China.

CCTV America’s Mark Niu reports on how people, both Japanese tourists and local Hawaiians are viewing the criticism.

Japanese tourists, Hawaiian locals view of Abe’s Pearl Harbor visit

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s recent trip to Pearl Harbor made waves. While U.S. representatives hailed it as an important step toward reconciliation, China said Japan cannot turn the page of history without reconciliation with China. CCTV America’s Mark Niu reports

Japanese tourists consistently top the charts for the highest number of foreign visitors vacationing in Hawaii.

Kosuke Matsugami is making his first visit to the state and was heartened to hear that Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe came at the same time.

“I think he should apologize because I think it mistake by Japan to attack Pearl Harbor. But yes, I think it’s a first step,” Matsugami said.

While hanging out on the beach and shopping are the most popular activities, it’s not quite as easy to find Japanese tourists visiting Pearl Harbor.

Taro Kurosawa and his friends did and are also glad their Prime Minister did, too. “Japanese Prime Minister first visit to Pearl Harbor is very important. Japanese young people all think. The Prime Minister visit Pearl Harbor is new history,” he said.

Japanese culture has long been a part of Hawaiian culture. At their height in the 1920’s, local Japanese made up more than 40 percent of Hawaii’s population. The latest census data now puts that number at about 17 percent. But they’re still the largest Asian group in the state.

Stacey Hayashi, a 4th generation Japanese-American, attended Abe’s speech at Pearl Harbor.

She’s the writer of “Journey of Heroes,” a comic book that highlights the contributions of the 442nd and the 100th battalion – highly decorated military regiments filled with Japanese Americans.

She said Abe’s visit was most important for the veterans.