The White House stated that World War II veterans who feel “personally embittered” about Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor should step back from their feelings and look kindly to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to the military base in December.
Abe and President Barack Obama will be meeting at the site of the World War II attack for a final summit, some weeks ahead of Obama stepping down as President of the United States.
The Japanese statesman has not commented on whether or not he will apologize for the surprise attacks that provoked the United States to join the war, The Daily Mail reports.
The Japanese visit reciprocates Obama’s visit to Hiroshima earlier this year for the anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on the city, Daily Caller reports.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest stated on Dec. 5 that “the kind of sentiment that’s been expressed by the prime minister of Japan is one” the Obama administration believes “would be warmly received by most Americans.”
Earnest continued: “I can’t speak for every single American and how they will react to this particular situation. A WWII veteran who was drafted by the U.S. military to go and fight for our country overseas in the aftermath of the Pearl Harbor attack might feel quite embittered, and I think it would be a perfectly natural and understandable human reaction to not be particularly satisfied with the words of the Japanese prime minister.”
The White House official further stated: “I think, we take a risk if we underestimate [the] patriotism [of the WWII generation] and their capacity to set aside their own personal interests and prioritize the ambition and opportunity of the American people.”
“So yes, there may be some who feel personally embittered, but I’m confident that many will set aside their own personal bitterness, not because they’re personally satisfied by the words of the prime minister but because they recognize how important this moment is for the United States,” Earnest said, adding: “And that’s certainly why they qualify to be described as the greatest generation.”
Abe will visit the Hawaii military center on Dec. 26 and 27 to meet with Obama and pray for the war dead.
The Japanese attacks that took place on Dec. 7, 1941 killed 2,403 Americans and injured 1,178. It led to the immediate entry of the United States into the Second World War.
Sources: The Daily Mail, The Daily Caller / Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons