Japanese Leader Offers Condolences in Visit to Pearl Harbor
PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii — Seventy-five years after Imperial Japanese warplanes destroyed the Pacific fleet here and drew the United States into World War II, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan on Tuesday stood next to President Obama at the site of the attack and offered repentance but did not apologize.
“I offer my sincere and everlasting condolences to the souls of those who lost their lives here, as well as to the spirits of all the brave men and women whose lives were taken by a war that commenced in this very place, and also to the souls of the countless innocent people who became victims of the war,” Mr. Abe said, according to a copy of his prepared remarks.
He added, “We must never repeat the horrors of war again.”
Mr. Abe spoke along with Mr. Obama at the end of a long pier that overlooks Pearl Harbor and the memorial of the attack — a small building on top of the carcass of the battleship Arizona in Pearl Harbor, where 2,400 American sailors, Marines and others were killed in the surprise military strike on Dec. 7, 1941.
Mr. Abe and Mr. Obama laid wreaths made of white peace lilies at the memorial, and then dropped purple Hawaiian orchids into the water.