Pearl Harbor ceremony punctuates Obama effort to ease tensions Trump could inflame

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s historic visit to Pearl Harbor with President Obama on Tuesday punctuates the Obama administration’s multiyear effort to prod Japan and its neighbors in Asia to decrease tensions by moving beyond lingering wartime grievances.

But as the two leaders pay homage to the 2,403 Americans who died in the surprise Japanese attack on Dec. 7, 1941, the geopolitical backdrop for the event has been clouded by President-elect Donald Trump’s pugnacious and unpredictable foreign-policy pronouncements. During the campaign, Trump raised alarms in both countries when he questioned the value of the U.S. military’s basing agreements in Japan and suggested the island nation consider developing its own nuclear weapons.

Abe is set to become the first Japanese leader to take part in a ceremony at the USS Arizona Memorial, which honors the American sailors and Marines who perished aboard the battleship 75 years ago. The trip, in the works before Trump’s election last month, is intended as a symbolic bookend to Obama’s visit in May to Hiroshima, where the United States deployed the world’s first atomic bomb.

Like Obama, Abe does not plan to apologize for Japan’s sneak attack, which wounded an additional 1,178 and prompted the United States’ entry into World War II. Rather, he will reflect on history “and renew the determination of the

Article source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/pearl-harbor-ceremony-punctuates-obama-effort-to-ease-tensions-trump-could-inflame/2016/12/26/81e12712-cb7d-11e6-a747-d03044780a02_story.html

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