In Pearl Harbor visit, a symbol of reconciliation in Japan
nytimes.com -- Dec 26
As recently as five years ago, a Japanese prime minister was in Hawaii for an economic summit meeting, but pointedly stayed away from Pearl Harbor.

In the coming week, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will fly to Hawaii for the express purpose of visiting the site of the surprise attack on a United States naval base 75 years ago that killed 2,400 Americans and drew the country into World War II.

It is a sign of how far public opinion in Japan has moved that Mr. Abe can make the trip to the memorial, accompanied by President Obama, to offer condolences to the victims.

For decades, Japan has struggled to reckon with its wartime history, and the Pearl Harbor attack has been cast as a tragic but inevitable response to an American-led oil embargo that would have devastated the Japanese imperial empire.

Because of domestic political opposition, it has been all but impossible for Japanese leaders to visit Pearl Harbor until now. In 1994, when Emperor Akihito tried to visit the memorial, atop the remains of the U.S.S. Arizona, the American battleship on which the worst losses occurred, protests from Japan's nationalist right wing prompted him to alter his plans.

But after Mr. Abe, who is a conservative politician with strong ties to nationalist groups, announced his plans this month, the reception in Japan was largely positive.

Even the far-right Sankei newspaper - though grumbling that Mr. Abe should first revisit Yasukuni, a shrine in Tokyo where war criminals are buried - described Mr. Abe's trip to Hawaii as "an opportunity to refresh a commitment to deepen the U.S.-Japan friendship and contribute peace to the world through a tranquil ceremony."

Some Japanese news media suggested that the Pearl Harbor trip could even lift Mr. Abe's approval ratings and give him the confidence to call an election in January.

News source: nytimes.com
Jul 24
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, his ratings sinking over a suspected cronyism scandal, on Monday said he had never instructed officials to give preferential treatment to a long-time friend, adding that the latter had never sought favors. (Reuters)
Jul 21
US President Donald Trump says the wife of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe doesn't speak English. (NHK)
Jul 21
Seven female members of the Miyagi prefectural assembly on Friday asked the governor of the northeastern Japan prefecture to remove a tourism promotion video it is using on the internet, claiming it portrays women as sex objects. (Kyodo)
Jul 20
The United States is bracing for the possibility of another ballistic missile launch by North Korea. (NHK)
Jul 19
Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada has denied media reports that she agreed to hide the fact that the records relating to the Ground Self-Defense Force's peacekeeping activities in South Sudan were at the GSDF command. The ministry once said they had been destroyed. (NHK)
Jul 18
Renho, leader of Japan's main opposition Democratic Party, on Tuesday disclosed personal documents as evidence that she has resolved the issue of her Japanese-Taiwanese dual citizenship and is now a Japanese citizen. (Jiji)
Jul 18
Japan on Monday pledged $1 billion over the next two years to back the UN's development agenda, raising its profile as one of the world's largest foreign aid donors. (digitaljournal.com)
Jul 18
Japan Coast Guard officials say 2 Chinese patrol ships have entered Japanese territorial waters off the country's northeast. (NHK)
Jul 16
Two Chinese coast guard ships were spotted Saturday in Japanese waters around Okinoshima island and one near Tsushima Island, in the first confirmation of an intrusion by Chinese government vessels in the area, the Japan Coast Guard said. (Japan Today)
Jul 15
China told Japan on Friday to "get used to it" after it flew six warplanes over the Miyako Strait between two southern Japanese islands in a military exercise. (nypost.com)