History will be trailing Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during his visit to the United States.Breaking News
tags: Shinzo Abe
Related Link Japan's Views of WWII History Rankles Some U.S. Vets
Abe intends to promote a free trade pact and stronger defense ties as his government loosens the shackles of Japan's pacifist constitution 70 years after the end of World War II.
But while Japan wants to look to the future, it cannot seem to shake off its past.
Korean-Americans who have championed the cause of former sex slaves of the imperial Japanese military will be watching what Abe says during his trip this coming week. So, too, will the shrinking ranks of American veterans who were prisoners of war.
In an unusual step, 25 House members wrote Japan's ambassador to the U.S. to urge Abe to address sensitive issues of history when he becomes the first Japanese leader to address a joint meeting of Congress. Abe's speech Wednesday comes a day after his scheduled meeting with President Barack Obama.
"To ignore past atrocities," said Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., "is to ensure a very troubling future."
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