Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has visited Hawaii on the final stop on his tour before finally visiting Pearl harbour on Tuesday. The trip is a strong indication of Japan’s commitment to enhancing ties with the US. Especially given the regional tensions being caused by China’s increasing willingness to militarise the region. The US are seen as key partners to keep the peace in the area. The Japanese are also keen on presenting a unified front before Donald Trump enters the fold, in hope of maintaining the cordial partnership the countries currently have.
Abe has made little comment to the media during the trip, as it is likely to be a sore political point back in Japan. Yesterday the Prime Minister visited graves of US soldiers killed whilst serving in the Pacific. It is understood that Mr Abe will not be apologising for the attacks, but his presence is symbolic all the same.
Abe’s visit follows on from outgoing US President Barack Obama’s visit to Hiroshima, also being the first US President since the second world war to do so. As is expected of Abe, Obama did not apologise for the attacks, but wanted to show a unified front. It was part of Obama’s final tour, in which he set about trying to fix a lot of America’s global problems. Japan wasn’t one of the worse, but relations definitely could always use a perk up between them.
The bombing of Pearl Harbour in 1941 was the catalyst for the United States to join the second world war. Until that point they had been reticent to do so, but the attack on them by the staunch ally of the Nazi’s gave them little choice but to respond in kind. A job that they did efficiently, by joining the allies and helping to defeat Adolf Hitler.
In recent years relations have improved between the nations. As mutually beneficial partners there’s an obvious benefit to both countries to act in each others interest. The US is a huge importer of electrical goods, for which the Japanese are famed for. There will be much hope in Japan, as Donald Trump has taken a dislike to Chinese economic policy, that once again Japan will play a huge role in US imports. So the timing couldn’t be better for the two countries to enhance their partnership even further.
Joseph is a 34 year old freelance writer from London. He has a wide interest in politics and specialises in the subject. He's also a blog writer in his spare time.