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Abe To Become First Japanese Leader To Visit Pearl Harbor

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (file photo)

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has announced that he will visit Pearl Harbor this month, becoming his country's first leader to travel to the site of the Japanese attack 75 years ago that launched World War II in the Pacific.

"This will be a visit to console the souls of the victims," Abe told reporters on December 5. "I would like to show to the world the resolve that horrors of war should never be repeated."

Abe's announcement came just two before the 75th anniversary of the deadly December 7, 1941 attack on the U.S. naval base in Hawaii.

Japanese forces attacked Pearl Harbor in the hope of destroying U.S. power in the Pacific. But the assault led to the United States entering World War II and the eventual defeat of Japan in August 1945.

Abe's December 26-27 visit will come seven months after U.S. President Barack Obama became the first serving U.S. president to visit the Japanese city of Hiroshima, where the United States dropped an atomic bomb in the dying days of the war.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP