Japanese Prime Minister has indicated that he doesn't have any plans to visit Pearl Harbor in reciprocation for Obama's visit to Hiroshima.

What Japanese government members have visited Pearl Harbor?

The Daily Mail in a 2009 article says that Lower house speaker Yohei Kono was the highest-ranking government member to do so, and reports that the Emperor planned to visit it, and the 1994 article Emperor Visits Site Near Pearl Harbor mentions that the Emperor visited a place near it.

I couldn't find any relevant info in Attack on Pearl Harbor, Naval Station Pearl Harbor or USS Arizona Memorial.


2 Answers 2


Four* (NYT)

There have been several less public visits to the historic naval base:

Yoshida (1951)

Yoshida in Honolulu
Yoshida (center right) in Honolulu in Aug. 31, 1951. From AP.

"Japanese Leader’s Pearl Harbor Visit May Not Be a First, After All", New York Times:

Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida stopped in Hawaii in 1951 on his way home to Tokyo from San Francisco, where he had signed a treaty to normalize relations between Japan and most of the victorious Allies of World War II.

During his brief time on the island of Oahu, he paid a formal visit to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, a mountaintop shrine dedicated to American war dead, and, it now appears, made a less public stop at Pearl Harbor.

A search of Japanese newspaper archives turned up a 1951 dispatch from the daily Yomiuri Shimbun. The newspaper reported that the premier had indeed gone to the American naval base at Pearl Harbor.

No ceremonies or other public events appear to have taken place while Mr. Yoshida was at the base.

Hatoyama (1956) and Kishi (1957)

Hatoyama at Pearl Harbor
Hatoyama at Pearl Harbor, taken from a Hawaii Hochi article in Oct. 30, 1956. From the Yomiuri Shinbun.

Article stating Kishi has visited Pearl Harbor
Hawaii Hochi article, June 29, 1957, stating that Kishi has visited Pearl Harbor. Notice text highlighted. From the Yomiuri Shinbun.

"2 more Japanese PMs ‘visited Pearl Harbor’", Yomiuri Shinbun:

The Hawaii Hochi, a local Japanese-language daily, said Thursday that its past reports show then Prime Ministers Ichiro Hatoyama and Nobusuke Kishi visited Pearl Harbor in 1956 and 1957, respectively.

Hatoyama visited Honolulu in October 1956 after he signed the Japan-Soviet joint declaration in Moscow.

Kishi stayed in Honolulu two nights in June 1957 after a meeting with then U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower, according to the past reports. The visits by Hatoyama and Kishi are believed to be official ones, as they received ceremonial welcomes, including gun salutes, according to the Hawaii Hochi.

Abe (2016)

Abe and Obama at the USS Arizona memorial in Pearl Harbor
Abe and Obama at the USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor on Dec. 27, 2016. From the BBC.

"Japan PM Shinzo Abe offers Pearl Harbor condolences", BBC:

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe has visited the US naval base at Pearl Harbor, where he offered "sincere and everlasting condolences" to the victims of Japan's attack on the base 75 years ago.

Mr Abe was accompanied by US President Barack Obama, making the visit the first by the leaders of both countries.

Further notes

The Pompitous makes a note that other Japanese officials may have visited Pearl Harbor unofficially. This would include Yoshida's. In addition, there may be other visits which I will have missed and that have only been covered by local or Japanese newspapers.

This answer will change as future Japanese officials may choose to visit Pearl Harbor, so this list isn't final.


As long as we restrict the information to official visits, the answer is: 0.

Emperor Akihito was supposed to be the first member of the Imperial Family to visit Pearl Harbor in 2009, but ultimately did not, instead laying a wreath at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific which commemorates WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam. Notably, he is the son of the emperor who ruled Japan during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

No sitting Japanese Prime Minister has ever visited Pearl Harbor, and the current Prime Minister has no plans to do so.

It is likely impossible to know if any members of government have done so in an unofficial capacity—such as on vacation—since there would be no record of that, anywhere we would have access to it.

  • 1
    This answer is going to be outdated fairly soon.
    – NuWin
    Dec 10, 2016 at 1:02

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .