Japan's Abe to visit Manila, Davao next month

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe did not apologize for the attack, but he did say that Japan must "never repeat the horrors of war", as the two leaders participated in a ceremony at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

Tomomi Inada, Abe's hawkish new defence chief, visited Yasukuni for the first time since taking the key cabinet post in August, according to national broadcaster NHK, the Asahi Shimbun and Jiji Press.

Inada joined Abe and Barack Obama on Tuesday for the first visit by a Japanese leader and a US president to commemorate the victims of the Japanese attack 75 years ago.

"Regardless of the difference in historical views, or whether they fought as enemies or allies, I believe all counties are able to understand that we wish to express respect and gratitude to those who sacrificed their lives for their countries", Inada said.

South Korea called the visit "deplorable".

Abe and Obama paid homage to the more than 2,400 Americans killed in Japan's surprise attack against the major United States naval base 75 years ago.

She urged Japanese leaders to listen to the voices of justice from Japan and other countries, face up to the country's history of aggression, and show deep remorse.

BEIJING-China described Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's December 27 visit to Pearl Harbor as a publicity stunt that sidesteps the issue of sincerely apologizing to victims of Japan's wartime aggression.

Japan ruled the Korean Peninsula as a colony from 1910-45 and committed a series of atrocities, including coercing young Korean women to provide sex for its troops during World War II.

Abe, a staunch conservative who has called for strengthening Japan's military, has himself avoided visiting Yasukuni in an apparent attempt to prevent controversy after going there three years ago to celebrate his first anniversary since being elected prime minister.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, said his visit "reflects the Japanese government's unhealthy attitude toward its past transgressions".

Lodging a protest to Inada's visit, Seoul's defense ministry summoned Hideaki Takahashi, the Japanese military attache in Seoul in the afternoon.

More than 1,000 US war dead remain entombed in the submerged ship, which Japan struck as part of the devastating attack that killed more than 2,300 Americans and sent America marching into World War II.

  • Anthony Vega