Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, joined U.S. President Barack Obama for a symbolic joint visit to Pearl Harbour on Tuesday, commemorating World War II dead and pledged that “Japan would never wage war again”.
The Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria who monitored the event on news network, reports that Mr. Abe, while delivering a solemn speech offered ‘everlasting condolences’ to the U.S. and the entire world over victims of Pearl Harbour attack and the World War II.
NAN also reports that Mr. Obama pointed out that “there’s more to be won in peace than in war”.
Messrs. Abe and Obama commemorated the dead at the USS Arizona Memorial, built over the remains of the sunken battleship, according to Reuters.
Mr. Abe became the first Japanese prime minister to visit the memorial, a centrepiece of the historic site.
“We must never repeat the horrors of war again. This is the solemn vow we, the people of Japan, have taken.
“To the souls of the servicemen who lie in eternal rest aboard the USS Arizona, to the American people, and to all the peoples around the world, I pledge that unwavering vow here as the prime minister of Japan,” he said.
Japanese forces attacked Pearl Harbour with torpedo planes, bombers and fighter planes on the morning of December 7, 1941, pounding the U.S. fleet moored there in the hope of destroying U.S. power in the Pacific.
Mr. Abe did not, however, apologise for the attack.
Obama, who earlier this year became the first incumbent U.S. president to visit Hiroshima, where the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb in 1945, called Mr. Abe’s visit a “historic gesture” that was “a reminder that even the deepest wounds of war can give way to friendship and a lasting peace”.
The two leaders stood solemnly in front of a wall inscribed with the names of those who died in the 1941 attack and they took part in a brief wreath-laying ceremony, followed by a moment of silence.
“In Remembrance, Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan” was written on one wreath and “In Remembrance, Barack Obama, President of the United States” on the other.
The visit, just weeks before Republican President-elect Donald Trump takes office, was meant to highlight the strength of the U.S.-Japan alliance in the face of a rising China and amid concerns that Trump would have a more complicated relationship with Tokyo.
World War II, which raged from 1939 to 1945, killed more than 60 million people.
The aftermath of the war led to the formation of the United Nations “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war”, among others.