Japanese prime minister will be first to visit Pearl Harbor memorial in Hawaii

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PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii — 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.

Abe visited the Ehime Maru Memorial in Honolulu Monday, which is dedicated to those who died when a U.S. Navy submarine collided with a Japanese fishing vessel 15 years ago. 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.


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