Japanese PM Shinzo Abe to visit Pearl Harbour site with Barack Obama

It comes only months after Obama become the first sitting US President to visit the site of the Hiroshima bombing

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe to visit Pearl Harbour site with Barack Obama

Shinzo Abe and Barack Obama. Picture by Susan Walsh AP/Press Association Images

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is to visit the site of the Pearl Harbour attack today.

It comes 75 years since Japan's attack on the Hawaiian naval base, which prompted America to enter the Second World War.

Mr Abe will be joined by US President Barack Obama, who is on holiday in Hawaii with his family. They will visit the memorial of the USS Arizona, one of the ships which sank during the attack.

Earlier this month, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said: "President Obama visited Hiroshima earlier this year. It was a powerful image seeing the American President and the Japanese Prime Minister standing side by side in that city.

"I would expect that seeing the Japanese Prime Minister and the American President standing side by side in Pearl Harbor, at the memorial of the USS Arizona, just a couple of weeks after the 75th anniversary of that attack... I think will be similarly powerful."

In a statement announcing his plans to visit Pearl Harbour, Mr Abe said: "We must never again repeat the devastation of war. I want to exhibit that resolve toward the future.

"I would like to make this visit an opportunity to show the significance of the reconciliation between Japan and the United States. The Japan-US 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-US Alliance is unchanging, for the past, present, and future. The meeting this time will be a significant opportunity to confirm that," he added. 

The Pearl Harbour surprise attack on December 7th 1941 left more than 2,400 Americans and 64 Japanese dead, and hundreds of American planes and ships were either destroyed or damaged. The US declared war on Japan the following day.