US re­flects on lessons of Ja­panese at­tack

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD - By XIN­HUA in Los An­ge­les

These days are emo­tional ones for Pearl Har­bor at­tack sur­vivors as peo­ple across the United States mark the 75th an­niver­sary of the Ja­panese as­sault.

In the coast of Florida, a re­tired SS Amer­i­can Vic­tory left its dock on Satur­day for a four-hour trip to re­mem­ber the in­fa­mous sur­prise at­tack by the Ja­panese mil­i­tary against the US naval base at Pearl Har­bor, Hawaii, in 1941.

In Tulsa, Ok­la­homa, Cir­cle Cinema, a lo­cal non­profit theater, plans to screen spe­cial doc­u­men­tary films on Wed­nes­day to honor more than 2,400 US sol­diers killed on the day 75 years ago.

In Los An­ge­les, an honor flight car­ry­ing sur­viv­ing veter­ans of Pearl Har­bor took off, head­ing for Hawaii. Re­tired Navy Cap­tain Bob Bat­ter­son along with 31 other were on that flight.

They were met with cheers, tears and gu­ber­na­to­rial wel­come the mo­ment they had landed. Although 75 years had passed, Bat­ter­son is still in shock of what had hap­pened.

The at­tack on Pearl Har­bor on Dec 7, 1941, had changed the course of his­tory. Now, Pearl Har­bor has not only be­come a re­minder of the past, but also a to­ken of peace.

“War con­tin­u­ally serves as a re­minder to the im­por­tance of peace, diplo­macy, mu­tual re­spect and un­der­stand­ing,” said Dei­dre Te­gar­den, ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of the Ni­sei Veter­ans Me­mo­rial Cen­ter.

The 75th Com­mem­o­ra­tion on Pearl Har­bor At­tack is hon­ored these days with an un­prece­dented se­ries of events and cer­e­mo­nial trib­utes on Dec 1-11, all geared to­ward “Honor­ing the Past, In­spir­ing the fu­ture”.

Thou­sands of global vis­i­tors and Hawaii res­i­dents were ex­pected to take part in the cer­e­monies and events with me­dia cov­er­age reach­ing mil­lions of view­ers world­wide.

Abe’s visit

It would pro­vide us with a unique op­por­tu­nity to honor those who ex­pe­ri­enced the emo­tional awak­en­ing trig­gered by the at­tack, said Ad­mi­ral Thomas B. Fargo in a state­ment re­leased by the an­niver­sary com­mit­tee.

Ja­panese Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe an­nounced on Mon­day that he planned to visit Pearl Har­bor in re­turn for Obama vis­it­ing Hiroshima ear­lier this year. This will make Abe the first Ja­panese leader to visit Pearl Har­bor since World War II.

How­ever, Abe’s top spokesman, Chief Cabi­net Sec­re­tary Yoshi­hide Suga, has made it clear that dur­ing Abe’s visit be­tween Dec 26 and Dec 27, “no apol­ogy would be of­fered” for the Ja­panese at­tack on Pearl Har­bor, which was a cat­a­lyst for the US to join World War II.

Some po­lit­i­cal ex­perts how­ever be­lieve that the visit may be com­pletely vac­u­ous, con­sid­er­ing the cur­rent un­cer­tain global po­lit­i­cal cli­mate and un­clear for­eign pol­icy direc­tions of the US un­der a Don­ald Trump pres­i­dency.

Koichi Nakano, a pro­fes­sor of in­ter­na­tional pol­i­tics at Tokyo’s Sophia Univer­sity, said the Pearl Har­bor visit and Abe’s com­mit­ment to the Ja­pan-US al­liance are tan­ta­mount to “giv­ing a blank check to Trump” de­spite the un­cer­tainty over bi­lat­eral re­la­tions un­der his ad­min­is­tra­tion.

US NAVY VIA REUTERS

Sailors launch res­cue along­side the sunken bat­tle­ship USS West Vir­ginia shortly af­ter the Ja­panese air raid on Pearl Har­bor on Dec 7, 1941.

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