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Abe to visit cemeteries for Japanese, U.S. soldiers in Hawaii

Several Japanese government sources revealed on Dec. 21 that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has decided to visit the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, where U.S. soldiers who died in the Vietnam War and other battles are buried, and the Makiki Japanese Cemetery, where the graves of the Imperial Japanese Navy soldiers are located, during his visit to Hawaii on Dec. 26-27. He plans to make the visits on Dec. 26 to demonstrate Japan-U.S. reconciliation.


On the same day, Abe will also visit and offer flowers at the monument to the victims of the Ehime Maru incident in 2001, where a U.S. nuclear submarine collided into the training ship of the Uwajima Fishery High School in Ehime Prefecture in waters off Oahu Island. Nine students died in that incident.


Abe will hold his last summit meeting with President Barack Obama on Dec. 27, where the two leaders will affirm the strengthening of the bilateral alliance. This will be followed by their visit to the USS Arizona Memorial honoring soldiers who died in the Pearl Harbor attack (on Dec. 7, 1941) to offer flowers and console the spirits of the deceased. They will each issue a statement. Abe will declare his determination not to repeat the tragedy of war but he will not offer an apology, as in his statement on the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in August last year. This will be the first time for a Japanese prime minister to pay respect at the USS Arizona Memorial.


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