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Ben Rhodes says Abe expressed intention to visit Pearl Harbor in Hiroshima in May

Asahi wrote that it has learned from an interview with Ben Rhodes, Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and Speechwriting, that Prime Minister Abe expressed to President Obama his intention to visit Pearl Harbor when they visited Hiroshima in May. Rhodes was quoted as saying in an interview in Washington on Wednesday that the premier has expressed eagerness to visit Pearl Harbor during his meetings with the President on the margins of international conferences in the past few months and that Abe conveyed his decision to visit Hawaii to the President in Peru in November. Rhodes reportedly added that Washington and Tokyo worked carefully to arrange the visits to Hiroshima and Pearl Harbor as two separate events to be decided on independently by the President and the prime minister. The White House official said President Obama will stress the need to maintain the U.S.-Japan alliance as the cornerstone of security in the Asia-Pacific region during his speech in Hawaii and that Abe’s visit to Pearl Harbor will convey to Asia the positive message that it is possible to prevent historical issues from becoming impediments or causing strain in relations with other nations.   

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