5-speed listening (Pearl Harbor - Level 2)

Japan Prime Minister visits Pearl Harbor






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Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. Japan's surprise attack on the base in 1941 led to the USA joining World War II. Mr Abe did not apologize for the attack. He said: "The people of the USA and the people around the world, as the Prime Minister of Japan, I offer my sincere and everlasting condolences to the souls of those who lost their lives here." Mr Abe also said: "We must never repeat the horrors of war again. This is the serious vow the people of Japan have taken." President Obama welcomed Mr Abe, "in the spirit of friendship".

A total of 353 Japanese planes attacked Pearl Harbor, killing 2,403 US personnel. The attack also damaged or destroyed 19 US warships. Mr Abe is the first Japanese leader for decades to visit Pearl Harbor and the first to visit a special memorial there. He spoke about the US role in rebuilding Japan after WWII. He said after the war, "Japan was a nation in burnt-out ruins as far as the eye could see, suffering miserable poverty" and the USA sent food to eat and clothes to wear. He added that the friendship between the USA and Japan was an "alliance of hope".

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