LOS ANGELES, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- These days are emotional ones for Pearl Harbor attack survivors as the 75th anniversary of the historical event is coming on Dec. 7.
People around the United States have started to hold ceremonies to honor and remember the event.
In the coast of Florida, a retired SS American Victory left its dock on Dec. 3 for a four-hour trip to remember the infamous surprise attack by Japanese military against the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in 1941.
In Tulsa, Oklahoma, Circle Cinema, a local nonprofit theater, plans to screen special documentary films on Dec. 7 to honor more than 2,400 Americans killed on the day 75 years ago.
In Los Angeles, an honor flight carrying surviving veterans of Pearl Harbor took off, heading for Hawaii. Retired Navy Capt. Bob Batterson along with 31 other were on that flight.
They were met with cheers, tears and gubernatorial welcome the moment they had landed. Although 75 years had passed, Batterson is still in shock of what had happened.
The attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 had changed the course of history. Now, Pearl Harbor has not only become a reminder of the past, but also a token of peace.
"War continually serves as a reminder to the importance of peace, diplomacy, mutual respect and understanding," Deidre Tegarden, executive director of the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center, told Xinhua.
"The world would turn to Hawaii in its search for world peace because Hawaii has Aloha, (meaning 'hello' or 'peace' in the Hawaiian language)," Tegarden quotes the famous Hawaiian philosopher Pilahi Paki.
The 75th Commemoration on Pearl Harbor Attack is honored these days with an unprecedented series of events and ceremonial tributes on Dec. 1-11, all geared towards "Honoring the Past, Inspiring the future."
Thousands of global visitors and Hawaii residents are expected to take part in the ceremonies and events with media coverage reaching millions of viewers worldwide.
It would provide us with a unique opportunity to honor those who experienced the emotional awakening triggered by the attack, said Admiral Thomas B. Fargo in a statement released by the anniversary committee.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Monday that he planned to visit Pearl Harbor in return for Obama visiting Hiroshima earlier this year. This might make Abe the first Japanese leader to visit Pearl Harbor since World War II.
However, Abe's top spokesperson, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, has made it clear that during Abe's visit between Dec. 26 and Dec. 27, "no apology would be offered" for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, which was a catalyst for the United States to join World War II.
Some political experts however believe that the visit may be completely vacuous, considering the current uncertain global political climate and unclear foreign policy directions of the United States under a Donald Trump presidency.
Koichi Nakano, a professor of international politics at Tokyo's Sophia University, said the Pearl Harbor visit and Abe's commitment to the Japan-U.S. alliance are tantamount to "giving a blank check to Trump" despite the uncertainty over bilateral relations under his administration.
Japan launched a sneak attack on Pearl Harbor naval base on the island of Oahu in Hawaii in 1941, killing more than 2,400 U.S. military personnel and civilians. The next day, then President Franklin Roosevelt asked Congress for a declaration of war against Japan, which launched the American involvement in World War II.
By Xinhua Writer Zhu Dongyang
BEIJING, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- Instead of making a genuine reconciliatory gesture to Washington, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's surprise announcement to visit the U.S. Pearl Harbor seems to harbor a deceptive design too calculative to wipe off Japan's original sins on history.
Abe, who will be accompanied by U.S. President Barack Obama on his visit, will become the first serving Japanese prime minister to visit the site of the Japanese attack on Dec. 7, 1941. Japan's brutality then and later dragged the United States into World War II, claiming the lives of thousands of U.S. soldiers and civilians. Full story
by Jon Day
TOKYO, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's planned visit to Pearl Harbor later this month purportedly to remember the thousands killed by Japan's surprise attack on a naval base there is aimed at scoring bonus points from the public here, while showing the incoming U.S. administration that it still holds its ally in the highest regard, observers here said Tuesday.
Along with stating contentiously that "no apology would be offered" for the attack on Pearl Harbor, which was a catalyst for the United States to join World War II, Abe's top spokesperson, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshida Suga, said Tuesday that Abe's planned visit to Hawaii on Dec. 26 and 27 to mark the invasion by Japan 75 years ago, also has nothing to do with Barack Obama becoming the first serving U.S. president to visit Hiroshima. Full story