Tuesday, August 23, 2016

PM's Wife Visits Pearl Harbor

If there are two lingering issues between Japan and the United States that still stir up deep feelings about the war, they are Hiroshima and Pearl Harbor. And while they say time heals most wounds, there are still people in the United States who still hold onto strong feelings of anger of which many were not even born when these tragic events took place. Over the years we have talked about Veterans and Hibakusha who have long made peace, it has only been in recent times that moves to heal such lingering wounds on the part of politicians in both countries made significant gains. In this year we have seen Japan apologize to Korea for the final time and President Obama lay a wreath at the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima. Now Mrs. Akie Abe who is the wife of Japan's Prime Minster Shinzo Abe has made the historic first of visiting the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. While many see this as a precursor to a visit by the PM himself, others as noted in the Japan Times see this as an important counter balance to her husbands polices.
While this can be seen as being political, Mrs. Abe considers this to be a personal gesture of peace and offered prayers. She is quoted in the Japan Times as saying: "I understand that there are various debates and stances on Pearl Harbor, but I think that we have to pass on the memory to the next generation, transcending the feelings of hate and anger. I offered my condolences to the victims and gave my prayer of gratitude for the peace that we have enjoyed and to establish the peace going forward."

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