By Shige Higashi, Editor of Cultural News
HONOLULU, Hawaii – “Honolulu Star-Advertiser” newspaper prints “Abe’s visit will be a defining moment” headline in the front page of the Dec. 26, when Prime Minister Abe will arrive at Honolulu in the morning and start two-day events including floral offering ceremony with President Obama at the Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor.
Excerpt from Honolulu Star-Advertiser:
Japan has been on the path to reconciliation with Hawaii and Pearl Harbor since at least 1951, when then-Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida paid a brief visit to the Navy base and met Adm. Arthur Radford, head of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. The Arizona Memorial was yet to be built.
In 1953 then-Crown Prince Akihito paid his respect at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl. In 1960 he visited Pearl Harbor. Emperor Akihito planned to visit the Arizona Memorial in 1994, but objections from within Japan led to a wreath-laying at Punchbowl instead. The emperor again laid a wreath at Punchbowl in 2009.
The Navy and Consulate General of Japan in Honolulu held a reconciliation and friendship ceremony Dec. 8 on Ford Island recognizing the American losses as well as the approximately 65 Japanese servicemen who died conducting their mission on Dec. 7, 1941.
Shige Higashi is visiting Honolulu to cover PM Abe visit from Dec. 24 – 28. For any tip to the PM Abe visit subject, contact Shige at (213) 819-4100, cell, or firstname.lastname@example.org