Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe won't apologise for Japan's attack when he visits the US naval base at Pearl Harbor later this month, the government spokesman said on Tuesday.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that “the purpose of the upcoming visit is to pay respects for the war dead and not to offer an apology.”
Abe announced late on Monday that he would have a summit meeting with President Barack Obama in Hawaii and visit Pearl Harbor. He will be the first Japanese leader to go to the site of the Japanese attack that propelled the US into World War II.
The unexpected announcement came two days before the 75th anniversary of the attack and six months after Obama became the first sitting American president to visit Hiroshima for victims of the US atomic bombing of that city at the end of the same war.
“We must never repeat the tragedy of the war,” Abe said.
“I would like to send this commitment. At the same time, I would like to send a message of reconciliation between Japan and the US”.