Navy aircraft mechanic Kuniyoshi Takimoto watched as Japanese planes roared off the aircraft carrier Hiryu to attack Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The shock assault 75 years ago Wednesday in Hawaii sparked patriotic celebration in Japan but left Takimoto feeling uneasy. This year's anniversary comes after President Barack Obama's visit in May to Hiroshima, the Japanese city pulverised by a US atom bomb in the closing days of the conflict.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is to become the first Japanese leader to visit Pearl Harbor, announcing Monday a trip to the site of his country's surprise attack that launched World War II in the Pacific. The war ended in August 1945 after the US dropped two nuclear bombs on Japan and, although the countries have forged strong ties in the seven decades since, how the war began and concluded has cast a long shadow. Abe's visit to Pearl Harbor also comes as Japan prepares to build a new relationship with Donald Trump, who will take over from President Barack Obama next month.