Press Conference on the Upcoming Meeting with the President Obama of the United States and Visit to Pearl Harbor
Monday, December 5, 2016
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a press conference at the Prime Minister’s Office on the upcoming meeting with the Honorable Barack H. Obama, President of the United States of America, and a visit to Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.
The Prime Minister said at the press conference,
“On December 26 and 27, I will visit Hawaii and hold a summit meeting with President Obama.
Over the past four years, President Obama and I have worked hard together to develop every facet of Japan-U.S. relations and for the peace and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region and world. The message that President Obama delivered on his visit to Hiroshima toward a world without nuclear weapons is something that is still taken to heart by many Japanese people.
I would like to make the meeting in Hawaii an opportunity to sum up the last four years and send a message to the world about the significance of further strengthening our alliance toward the future. This final summit meeting will be the culmination of our work together up until now.
In addition, I will visit Pearl Harbor with President Obama. The visit will be to offer our prayers for the repose of the souls of those who perished there.
We must never again repeat the devastation of war. I want to exhibit that resolve toward the future.
At the same time, I would like to make this visit an opportunity to show the significance of the reconciliation between Japan and the United States. The Japan-U.S. Alliance has become an ‘Alliance of Hope’ in which our two countries work together as a global alliance to tackle the various issues faced by the world. The value and significance of the Japan-U.S. Alliance is unchanging, for the past, present, and future. The meeting this time will be a significant opportunity to confirm that.”
In addition, in response to a question about the decision on the schedule for the visit, the Prime Minister said,
“Last year marked the 70th year since the end of World War II. I addressed a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress, where I communicated my thoughts and feelings on that 70-year anniversary. I have continuously thought that I would like to communicate the significance and symbolism of a visit to Pearl Harbor, and the importance of reconciliation. At the same time, I have also been thinking that I would like to hold a summit meeting to look back on the past four years with President Obama. During the short meeting we had in Lima in November, we confirmed and agreed that we would hold a summit meeting in December and that the two of us would visit Pearl Harbor.”