The Latest: Obama calls Japan's premier's visit 'historic'

AP News
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Posted: Dec 27, 2016 5:36 PM
The Latest: Obama calls Japan's premier's visit 'historic'

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

12:30 p.m.

President Barack Obama says Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to Pearl Harbor is a "historic gesture" that shows the power of reconciliation.

Obama is speaking at Pearl Harbor along with Abe. It's the first such joint visit by U.S. and Japanese leaders.

The president says Abe's presence is a reminder of what's possible between nations and peoples. He says it shows that wars can end and enemies can become allies.

Obama says it shows "the fruits of peace always outweigh the plunder of war."

Obama says the U.S.-Japan relationship is now a cornerstone of peace in the world. He says the alliance has never been stronger.

Obama singled out Pearl Harbor survivors in the audience saying the nation salutes them.

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12:25 p.m.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is offering "sincere and everlasting condolences" to the U.S. service members who died when his country attacked Pearl Harbor, sending America into World War II.

Abe is paying a historic visit to the site with President Barack Obama. He's the first Japanese leader to visit the USS Arizona Memorial and the first to visit Pearl Harbor with a U.S. president.

The prime minister isn't apologizing for the attack, but he's paying tribute to the "brave men and women" who were killed. Abe says "we must never repeat the horrors of war again."

The Japanese leader says it's important to show respect even to a former enemy. He says that's the spirit of tolerance that Americans embrace.

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12 p.m.

President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have tossed flower petals into the water aboard the USS Arizona Memorial to honor those who died in Pearl Harbor during World War II.

The two leaders approached a gap in the floating white memorial and tossed purple petals into the water Tuesday. The rusting wreckage of the sunken ship where more than 1,000 American service members are entombed can be seen just under the water's surface.

Obama and Abe closed their eyes and stood silently for a few moments before concluding their visit to the memorial.

Then they boarded a boat to take them to nearby Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, where both leaders will speak.

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This item has been corrected to show that "petals" was misspelled in the headline.

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11:20 a.m.

President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have laid wreaths aboard the USS Arizona Memorial to honor Americans who died in the Pearl Harbor attacks.

Obama and Abe entered a covered area of the memorial where a marbled wall lists names of U.S. troops who died in the waters below. They stood at the entrance for a moment of silence.

Then the leaders approached and adjusted a pair of green-and-peach-colored wreaths made of lilies. Obama's wreath bore a white ribbon saying "In Remembrance, Barack Obama, President of the United States, and Abe's a ribbon that says "In Remembrance, Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan."

Both leaders bowed their heads slightly but said nothing before slowly exiting.

It's the first visit by a Japanese prime minister to the memorial.

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11 a.m.

Under bright Oahu sun, President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe were ferried by a boat that sailed through smooth teal waters past military ships docked in Pearl Harbor.

An American flag waved in the wind above the white memorial as U.S. Navy members in white uniforms awaited the leaders' arrival.

A National Park Service official says more than 1,000 American service members remain entombed in the sunken wreckage of the USS Arizona. Others who survived the attack were later interred here after their death.

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10: 45 a.m.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Barack have arrived at Pearl Harbor and are taking a short boat ride to the USS Arizona Memorial, where they will lay a wreath.

The U.S. Secret Service is patrolling the waters on zodiac-style boats equipped with guns.

Abe is the first Japanese Prime Minister to visit the USS Arizona Memorial. He is also the first Japanese leader to visit Pearl Harbor with an American president.

More than 2,300 U.S. servicemen died in the Japanese attack that plunged the United States into World War II. Nearly half of those killed were on the Arizona, most still entombed in the wreckage.

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9:50 a.m.

Ahead of a visit to the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Barack Obama are holding a formal meeting at Camp H.M. Smith, a Marine Corps installation and headquarters of the U.S. Pacific Command.

Obama and Abe sat next to each other in front of Japanese and American flags, with white flowers in between them and translators at their sides.

They shook hands but made no remarks as reporters were allowed in briefly for the start of their meeting. It's expected to be Obama's last formal meeting with another world leader before he leaves office next month.

Later Tuesday, Abe will become the first Japanese Prime Minister to visit the USS Arizona Memorial, and the first Japanese leader to visit Pearl Harbor with an American president.