Abe, Obama make historic Pearl Harbor visit
A historic gesture -- a symbol to show the world what's possible. The leaders of two nations, once enemies and now friends, came together at the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor.
HONOLULU - It was first off, all about business.
President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met at Camp Smith Tuesday morning to cement alliances as the political uncertainties in the Pacific continue to grow.
Security and economic issues are paramount to this region and the ties to the past bind us to the future.
Consider that the head of the Pacific Command, Admiral Harry Harris, is the son of a U.S. naval officer and whose mother is from Japan.
Against that backdrop was a symbolic meeting at the Arizona Memorial where they honored the dead and made the gesture of reconciliation.
It’s here at the site of the start of the war in the Pacific where the world leaders talked of how the brave respect the brave and how deep war wounds can heal.
“Remind us what is possible between nations and between peoples. War can end. The most bitter of adversaries can become the strongest of allies. The fruits of peace always outweigh the plunder of war. This is the enduring truth of this hallowed harbor,” said President Obama.
We must never again repeat the horrors of the war again.
"This is the solemn vow the people of Japan have taken. And since the war we have created a free and democratic country that values the rule of law and resolutely uphold our vow never to again wage war,” said Prime Minister Abe.
Those who look to help build the future of peace in the Pacific are hailing the symbolic meeting, first of Obama’s visit to Hiroshima where the war ended, and then this with Prime Minister Abe’s visit to our war memorial.
"It’s more than a gesture. It is really a capstone on the war,” said East West Center President Charles Morrison.
While the U.S. and Japan can put the war behind them, it may not be so easy for other world powers like China, Korea, and Russia.
"The U.S. and Japan need each other more than ever in this environment,” Morrison said.
And so on this day in a quiet harbor, we witness two cultures, two counties, moving forward with honor and respect.
Below is the entire transcript of the remarks by President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.