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Japan's PM Abe in Pearl Harbor for Meeting With Obama

  • VOA News

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe presents a wreath at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl in Honolulu, Hawaii, Dec. 26, 2016.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, for talks with President Barack Obama — the first Japanese leader to visit the iconic U.S. naval base in 65 years.

Japanese officials say Abe's meeting Tuesday with the president is aimed at "expressing the value of reconciliation between Japan and the United States."

The White House has said Abe's visit would highlight the alliance between the former wartime enemies.

Japanese warplanes attacked the U.S. Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 — killing more than 2,500 serviceman and thrusting the United States into World War II.

A Japanese spokesman says Abe will not apologize for the attack on Pearl Harbor. Obama offered no apology for the U.S. dropping two atomic bombs on Japan in 1945 when he visited one of the target cities, Hiroshima, in May.

Abe will be the first Japanese leader to visit Pearl Harbor since the late prime minister Shigeru Yoshida briefly stopped there Sept. 12, 1951.