JUST over 75 years ago, waves of Japanese aircraft appeared in the skies over Pearl Harbor in Hawaii devastating the American fleet and killing 2,400 American service personnel.
This action brought America into the Second World War and with their involvement the Allies were eventually successful in bringing an end to the activities of the Axis which had already lost Italy.
Now, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has become the first Japanese leader to visit the site of what is a war grave -the Arizona – to see the area for himself and to show a mark of respect for those who so unexpectedly lost their lives.
Without making a formal apology for what happened prior to his birth, he did offer his “sincere and everlasting condolences” to those who lost their lives and went on to say “we must never repeat the horrors of war again, this is the solemn vow the people of Japan have taken.”
Accompanied by the US President Barack Obama, wreaths were laid at the site and they also met some of the veterans who survived the attack and are still alive.
This visit follows seven months after President Obama visited Hiroshima, the city on which the first Atom Bomb was dropped killing at least 150,000 people and destroying a huge swathe of land.
Whilst the visit has received general support, observers in the Far East have suggested that it might have been more appropriate to have visited Beijing or Seoul, the scene of many Japanese atrocities.