The Latest: Japanese leader attends Pearl Harbor events

AP News
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Posted: Dec 27, 2016 8:03 AM
The Latest: Japanese leader attends Pearl Harbor events

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) — The Latest on Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to Hawaii (all times local):

2 a.m.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has shared his fond memories of Hawaii from his childhood as he wrapped up a solemn day of commemoration at a reception with Japanese-Americans.

Abe said he remembers "rei" strings of chocolates and candies sent from a relative who had immigrated to Hawaii, in gift packages to Abe's family in Japan.

Speaking Monday at the Hawaii Convention Center, Abe said: "I was simply mesmerized in my own imagination that people in Hawaii were enjoying such special 'rei' sweets every day, and I was so jealous and eager to visit Hawaii someday."

On another occasion, Abe and his family received a box of fresh pineapple, which they had never seen before.

He said: "Back in those days, my parents, I and my brother had only seen canned pineapples. So we stared at it as it sat on the table, wondering how we can eat it."

On Tuesday, Abe will visit USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor as Japan's first serving prime minister to do so with an American president.

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7:50 p.m.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is ending a day of solemn remembrances with a reception dinner in Honolulu.

The prime minister is at the Hawaii Convention Center where he is addressing his visit and what it means for the two nations.

On Tuesday, Abe will become the first Japanese prime minister to visit the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor and the first to visit with an American president.

Japan's former leader Shigeru Yoshida went to Pearl Harbor six years after the country's World War II surrender, but that was before the USS Arizona Memorial was built. Yoshida arrived at Pearl Harbor in 1951, shortly after requesting a courtesy visit to the office of Adm. Arthur W.R. Radford, commander of the U.S. Pacific fleet. The office overlooked Pearl Harbor, offering a direct view of the attack site.

Two other Japanese prime ministers have also visited Pearl Harbor. Ichiro Hatoyama spent time here in 1956 and Nobusuke Kishi in 1957.

5 p.m.

Pearl Harbor survivor Alfred Rodrigues says he welcomes the visit by Japan's top leader to the USS Arizona Memorial that honors sailors and Marines killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is in Hawaii this week to see the site and meet with President Barack Obama.

"I'm glad he's coming to show that we're all peaceful now and you know, we were doing what we were supposed to do and they were doing what they were supposed to do," he told The Associated Press Monday.

Remembering the day of the attack in 1941, Rodrigues said that he had just sat down to have breakfast when the alarm sounded and the word got out. 'Man your battle stations, this is not a drill,' he recalled.

"We all ran out to the armory to get rifles and ammunition and we could see the planes up above with the red circles on the bottom. We knew it was the Japanese planes," Rodrigues said.

Rodrigues says he doesn't think Abe should apologize. "War is war. I mean, they were doing what they were supposed to do and we were doing what we were supposed to do. I have no animosity at all towards them."

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12:50 p.m.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has visited a memorial to those who died when a U.S. Navy submarine collided with a Japanese fishing vessel 15 years ago.

Shinzo visited the Ehime Maru Memorial in Honolulu on Monday. Nine boys and men died when the USS Greeneville rammed the Ehime Maru off Oahu on Feb. 9, 2001.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige and U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy were among those who joined Abe for the solemn visit.

Abe is in Hawaii to recognize the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. On Tuesday, he'll visit the USS Arizona Memorial, which honors sailors and Marines who were killed in the attack 75 years ago.

U.S. President Barack Obama will join Abe at Pearl Harbor.

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9:40 a.m.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has arrived in Hawaii to recognize the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor.

Abe arrived Monday for the historic visit. He will be the first Japanese prime minister to visit the memorial that honors sailors and Marines killed in the 1941 attack.

The memorial will be closed to the public Tuesday when he visits with U.S. President Barack Obama, who is vacationing in Hawaii with his family.

Japan's former leader Shigeru Yoshida went to Pearl Harbor six years after the country's World War II surrender. Yoshida arrived at Pearl Harbor in 1951, shortly after requesting a courtesy visit to the office of Adm. Arthur W.R. Radford, commander of the U.S. Pacific fleet. The office overlooked Pearl Harbor, offering a direct view of the attack site.