Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday visited several memorials in Hawaii, ahead of a landmark visit to Pearl Harbor on Tuesday with US President Barack Obama.
Abe made no public remarks and stood in silence before a wreath of flowers at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, a memorial to people who died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.
His trip comes 75 years after Japan’s surprise attack on the naval base that killed 2,300 US servicemen and propelled the US into World War Two.
The visit is meant to highlight the decades of reconciliation and now strong alliance between the two countries. Abe said he wants to send a message to the world that Japan will never repeat the atrocities of past wars.
“The alliance between Japan and the United States is one with hope in dealing with various problems in the world,” Abe said in a speech to the Japanese business lobby Keidanren.
“I hope this visit will be a historical one with leaders of Japan and the United States jointly visiting Pearl Harbor in a show of reconciliation,” he said.
His trip follows Obama’s visit last May to the city of Hiroshima, where the US dropped the world’s first nuclear bomb in 1945.