Japanese leader Abe to visit Pearl Harbor with Obama

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, seen alongside U.S. President Barack Obama during a visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial in May, will visit Hawaii's Pearl Harbor to pray for those killed by the Empire of Japan's December 7, 1941, attack.

Abe will go to Hawaii on December 26-27 for a summit with Obama, during which time he would remember the victims of the Pearl Harbor attack, his office said Monday.

The White House confirmed that Obama will meet with Abe in a statement.

"We must never repeat the tragedy of the war", he told reporters, according to The Associated Press.

"I think that the prime minister's visit will be an opportunity to send the message that the calamity of war must not be repeated and. express the value of reconciliation between Japan and the United States", he said.

Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor 75 years ago Wednesday, propelled the United States to enter World War II.

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The USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, which Shinzo Abe will become the first Japanese leader to visit.

Three and a half years later, the war came to an end after the US dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, and on the city of Nagasaki on August 9, 1945.

"President Obama came to Hiroshima so Prime Minister Abe should go to Pearl Harbor", Twitter user @chikazoemakoto said.

His "message towards a nuclear-free world during his visit to Hiroshima remains etched into Japanese hearts", Abe said.

The US maintains numerous military bases in Japan, along with about 47,000 troops, under a security treaty that obligates it to protect the country, crucial for Tokyo given its restraints on waging war.

Mr Obama's visit, the first by a sitting American leader, was generally well received in Japan, and seemed to be an attempt at seeking common ground, though no apology was offered.

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The visit to Hawaii with US President Barack Obama could also boost Abe's popularity rating - already robust at around 60 per cent - and raise the likelihood that he will call a snap election for parliament's lower house. Critics argued that the visit to Hiroshima was little but another stop on Obama's global apology tour.

Abe met with Trump in NY last month.

PM Abe, left, shaking hands with President-elect Donald Trump in New York City last month.

In the seven decades since the war, the United States and Japan have become staunch allies in one of the more remarkable turnarounds of former enemies in world history.

Abe on Monday hailed Obama's May speech.

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