Obama, Abe make symbolic joint visit to Pearl Harbor

| Updated: Dec 28, 2016 14:37 IST

Washington [United States], Dec.28 (ANI): United States President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a symbolic joint visit to Pearl Harbor on Tuesday. According to The News, the aim of the visit was to highlight the strength of the U.S.-Japan alliance. Both Abe and Obama commemorated the dead at the USS Arizona Memorial, built over the remains of the sunken battleship USS Arizona. Abe became the first Japanese prime minister to visit the memorial. The two leaders stood solemnly in front of a wall inscribed with the names of those who died in the 1941 attack and took part in a brief wreath-laying ceremony, followed by a moment of silence. "In Remembrance, Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan" was written on one wreath and "In Remembrance, Barack Obama, President of the United States" on the other. They then threw flower petals into the water. Japanese forces attacked Pearl Harbor with torpedo planes, bombers and fighter planes on the morning of December 7, 1941, pounding the U.S. fleet moored there in the hope of destroying U.S. power in the Pacific. Obama, who is on vacation in Hawaii, and Abe met ahead of the visit to discuss ties between the two former World War Two foes before heading to the site. Japan hopes to present a strong alliance with the United States amid concerns about China's expanding military capability. The Japanese leader's visit to Pearl Harbor comes months after Obama became the first incumbent U.S. president to visit Hiroshima, where the United States dropped an atomic bomb in 1945. Obama had then called for a world without nuclear arms. (ANI with inputs)