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Japan PM: No plans to visit Pearl Harbor

By
Amy R. Connolly
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, seen here on May 18, said he has no plans to visit Pearl Harbor in response to President Barack Obama's visit to Hiroshima. Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, seen here on May 18, said he has no plans to visit Pearl Harbor in response to President Barack Obama's visit to Hiroshima. Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo

ISE-SHIMA, Japan, May 26 (UPI) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Wednesday he has no plans to visit Pearl Harbor, site of Japan's 1941 sneak attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet that launched U.S. involvement in World War II, as a reciprocal visit to President Barack Obama's planned visit to Hiroshima this week.

Abe, in a joint press conference with Obama, said he marked the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II last year with a visit to the United States, including laying a wreath at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

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"At this moment, I don't have any specific plan to visit Hawaii," he said. "So as we move forward, I am determined to work closely with the United States in addressing various challenges of the international community based on our robust alliance, namely the alliance of hope between Japan and the United States."

Abe said the historic meeting between the two world leaders opens the doors to further discussions and work towards a goal of "global peace and prosperity."

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"I am convinced that when the leader of a nation that is the only nation to have used the nuclear weapon and the leader of the nation that is the only nation to have suffered atomic bombings in the war express the feelings of sincere sorrow and pray for the repose of the souls of those citizens who sacrificed their life will create a significant and strong momentum toward the world free of nuclear weapons," Abe said.

Obama plans to travel to Hiroshima on Friday to become the first sitting U.S. president to visit the site of the U.S. atomic bomb attack on Japan that left some 140,000 dead. The White House has said Obama will not apologize for the bomb drop that ushered in the nuclear age. Instead, he will reflect on the past.

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