Published: Wed, December 14, 2016
USA | By Yvette Dunn

Abe won't apologize for Pearl Harbor

On Dec. 7, 1941, the Empire of Japan launched a surprise attack on the Pearl Harbor deep-water US naval base in Hawaii's Oahu island.

Sweet was a crew member on the USS Ward. "I also want to make this an opportunity to convey the value of the reconciliation between Japan and the US", he said.

"It was so quick we didn't know what happened".

His ship, the USS West Virginia, was hit by nine torpedoes. "They were about 150 feet in the air".

More than 2,300 US servicemen were killed in the Japanese aerial attack at Pearl Harbor, sinking the USS Arizona battleship, while damaging or destroying 20 other ships and 164 planes. But, it wasn't just those who were stationed at Pearl Harbor that day whose lives were changed forever.

The next day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt went before Congress and requested a declaration of war.

By late November 1941, with peace negotiations clearly approaching an end, informed US officials (and they were well-informed, they believed, through an ability to read Japan's diplomatic codes) fully expected a Japanese attack into the Indies, Malaya and probably the Philippines.

The two leaders have "developed the Japan-U.S. relationship on every front and labored for the sake of the peace and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region and the world", Abe said Monday. But it nevertheless set a fire across the country as Americans, through their sorrow and grief, immediately began to mobilize for war. Thanks to the heroism of a generation, we did.

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"Seventy-five years ago today, a sudden and unprovoked attack turned a tranquil harbor into a sea of flames".

But that was the low point of World War II for America. Nearly 200 aircraft bombed the site over 30 minutes, destroying the USS Arizona among other naval vessels.

For the few who remain, those like Sweet and Miklavcic, it is important that the heroic sacrifices and acts of bravery of the men they served with are remembered long after they all have passed. But Chavez said it's about the people who were lost.

"They just instinctively did the right thing at the right time without any thought about their own lives or safety", he said.

"It seemed like I only slept about 10 minutes when she called me and said 'we're being attacked.' And I said 'who is going to attack us?' She said 'the Japanese are here and they're attacking everything, '" Chavez said.

"This visit is an opportunity to remember those who died in war, demonstrate a resolve that the horrors of war must never be repeated, and at the same time send a message about the reconciliation between Japan and the United States", Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference.

"That legacy will never die".

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