Japan’s first lady made a surprise trip to Pearl Harbor in Hawaii to pay tribute to those who died there, fueling speculation that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe could also visit the historic site attacked by the Japanese 75 years ago.
Akie Abe said Monday that she laid flowers and prayed at the USS Arizona Memorial during her private trip on Sunday. She also posed with an American veteran who survived the Dec. 7, 1941, attack, which prompted the U.S. to declare war on Japan and enter World War II.
Akie Abe was in Hawaii to attend an environmental conference, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said, according to The Japan Times.
Speculation on whether the prime minister will also visit Pearl Harbor on this year’s anniversary increased after President Obama visited Hiroshima, Japan, in May to pay tribute to the victims of the U.S. atomic bombing there, Japan Times reported.
Although the White House has said it would welcome a visit by Shinzo Abe, the prime minister said in May there were no plans to make the trip. He would be the first serving Japanese prime minister to visit Pearl Harbor.
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SOURCE: USA Today, Jessica Durando