When you accept how intensely sensitive a visit to Pearl Harbor by the Japanese Prime Minister is… When you pause and think about the scope of trepidation that follows such a tenuously emotional diplomatic mission… It is proper to give credit where it is deserved.
President Obama and Prime Minister Shinzu Abe together delivered a moving, historic and stunning moment of thoughtful condolence.
Speaking to the gathered audience in Pearl Harbor Hawaii, Prime Minister Shinzu Abe delivered an eloquent and honorable tribute. The first six and a half minutes of his speech below is remarkable in its historic value.
It is important we do not allow politics to cloud our recognition of history. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit is powerful proof that former enemies can transcend recriminatory impulses that often weigh down generational relationships long after war.
Although Japanese leaders have visited Pearl Harbor before, Prime Minister Abe is the first to visit the hallowed memorial resting atop the sunken USS Arizona.
…””As nations and as people, we cannot choose the history we inherit. But we can choose what lessons to draw from it.”…
~ President Barack Obama December 27th, 2016.
For President Obama, it’s likely the last time he will meet with a foreign leader as president. It’s a bookend of sorts for the president, who nearly eight years ago invited Abe’s predecessor to be the first leader that Obama hosted at the White House.
For Prime Minister Abe, it’s an act of reconciliation and symbolic reciprocity, coming six months after Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima in Japan, where the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb in hopes of ending the war.
They both did an exceptional and very respectful job.