A symbolic visit to Pearl harbour has been made by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He visited the USS Arizona memorial with outgoing US President Barack Obama. Whilst as expected he did not apologise for Japan’s actions on the day he did state that “We must never repeat the horrors of war again. This is the solemn vow we, the people of Japan, have taken,” He also went on to pledge that the Japanese people had taken in never again going to war.
The attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941 drew the US in to the second world war, the Japanese launched the attack as a way of weakening the power of the US navy in the Pacific. They launched a horrific attack on the US fleet that was moored in the harbour. This was a major turning point in the war, and undoubtedly hastened its finish.
The visit was hoped to cement the good relations between the countries as they both face up to the potential issues of China in the region. Earlier in the year Barack Obama visited Hiroshima and although also not apologising on the US’s behalf also made a symbolic gesture of peace.
Abe has been keen to keep relations strong with the US. He has a good relationship with Barack Obama, and has already visited President elect Donald Trump at his offices in Trump tower, noting that Trump would make a “Trustworthy leader”.
It is hoped that these joint visits will help to smooth over old wounds, as the two countries make the ideal friends. They’ve also been keen to show that forgiveness is better for world peace. They also have strong trade links that are best to be kept cordial. Though how this plays out once Trump enters the White House is unknown. He has been somewhat hostile to Japan’s close neighbours China in recent times, but is likely to be keen to have good friends in the region. Many believe that this is where Japan fit in. Along with Taiwan who’ve also enraged their Beijing based overlords of late by dealing with America as a separate entity. It’s clear that Trump will have to play carefully in a region engulfed in fragile relationships.
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.