Opinions are mixed as Shinzo Abe gears up for a visit to Hawaii, where Japanese forces launched an attack on U.S. troops in 1941. Tara Joseph reports.
Remembering Pearl Harbor, a pivotal moment in the second world war when Japan sprung a surprise attack a U.S. military base in Hawaii . Now, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is heading there on a historic trip. The first Japanese leader to visit, offering prayers and remembrance. Back home, where scars of World War 2 still linger, emotions are running high. 90-year old Miyoshi Tokunaga is a former Japanese Imperial Navy pilot: (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) 90-YEAR-OLD FORMER PILOT OF JAPANESE IMPERIAL NAVY, MIYOSHI TOKUNAGA, SAYING: "There are many American people who still feel Japan's navy attacked them without warning. I think Prime Minister Abe's visit to Pearl Harbor is a very good thing." But Abe may be seeking more than a healing moment. Known as a nationalist and military hawk, he's also struggling to ensure Japan plays a key role on the global stage - especially as China's power rises. Abe has been ultra proactive, becoming the first Japanese leader to welcome a sitting U.S. President to Hiroshima, and being the first foreign leader to meet Donald Trump just days after his election win. Some political analysts, say Abe's Pearl Harbor visit is effectively a PR stunt. But the Japanese government says he definitely won't be offering an apology for the 1941 attack. The symbolism of his visit will be clear, nonetheless. Japan's leader is pushing to extend his diplomatic reach, especially in the direction of the United States.