Washington: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe did not offer any apology during his visit to Pearl Harbour for the sneak World War II attack that claimed more than 2,400 lives.
Though the Japanese government billed Abe’s visit as a tour of reconciliation, the no-apology tour served no more than a political show from Abe, Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday.
It aimed to strengthen Japanese-US alliance amid uncertainty in the upcoming Donald Trump administration.
Calling himself “entirely speechless” when standing at the Pearl Harbour memorial constructed on the sunken USS Arizona, Abe acknowledged that the US and Japan fought a fierce war “that will go down in the annuls of human history”.
However, except from offering his “sincere and everlasting condolences” to the souls of the Americans killed by troops of the Japanese Imperial Empire, no apology from Abe was issued.
As many as 2,403 Americans were killed, about 20 US vessels were sunk or damaged and over 300 US aircrafts were damaged or destroyed when more than 350 Japanese warplanes launched stealth attacks on December 7, 1941.
The attack came as a shock to the Americans and directly led to the US entry into World War II.
Japan surrendered on August 15, 1945, after the US dropped atom bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Abe’s decision to visit Pearl Harbour came about six months after Obama visited Hiroshima.
During his presidential campaign, President-elect Donald Trump repeatedly ripped the US defence of Japan as one-sided and expensive deal.
Japan’s Kyodo News quoted a senior Japanese official as saying that since the election, Japan had been forced to think how best to show Trump that Japan was a trustworthy partner.