Ceremony in Hawaii marks 82nd anniversary of Pearl Harbor attack

About 2,000 people gathered for a ceremony on Thursday in Hawaii to mark the 82nd anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Military personnel and World War Two veterans were among the participants at the ceremony in the national park facing the harbor.

A ceremony to mark the 82nd anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was held on December 7.

They observed a moment of silence at 7:55 a.m., the exact time the attack began on December 7, 1941. About 2,400 Americans died in the attack that brought the United States into World War Two.

The commander of US Indo-Pacific Command, John Aquilino, expressed his resolve to protect peace through defense.

The commander of US Indo-Pacific Command, John Aquilino, gave a speech.

He said the veterans who experienced the attack would want people to remember Pearl Harbor and to keep America alert. He added that "constant vigilance is needed to defend our nation," and "we must be ready to fight and win."

Lou Conter, a 102-year-old veteran and the last remaining survivor of the USS Arizona, could not attend the ceremony due to his advanced age. He sent a short video message instead.

Conter's relative, a US Marine Corps captain, gave an address as part of the efforts to pass on the lessons of Pearl Harbor to younger generations.

Japanese-language newspaper that reported on Pearl Harbor closes

Hawaii Hochi, the only newspaper serving the Japanese immigrant community in the US state of Hawaii, which also reported on the attack on Pearl Harbor, has closed its doors after publishing its final edition on Thursday.

Hawaii Hochi printed its last edition on Thursday.

Hawaii Hochi, the Japanese-language paper launched in 1912, initially reported on human rights issues of Japanese-Americans and the treatment of Japanese workers at Hawaii's sugarcane plantations. It was widely read by first-generation and second-generation immigrants.

The day after the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Imperial Japanese Military, Hawaii Hochi ran a front-page editorial titled "This is our fight."

Hawaii Hochi's editorial following the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Imperial Japanese Military

The editorial said "things that we thought should not happen have happened. Hawaii, which we love, was attacked without notice." It said the residents of Hawaii must be loyal to the US and conduct themselves to ensure that their loyalty would not be questioned. It also called on people of Japanese descent to express their allegiance to the US.

Hawaii Hochi's president Yoshida Taro said the editorial was aimed at securing the safety and status of Japanese-Americans in Hawaii at a time when Japan, his home country, was at war and the Japanese community in Hawaii was in turmoil.

Hawaii Hochi's president Yoshida Taro spoke to NHK on December 6.

Hawaii Hochi ended its 111-year history on Thursday when the last edition was published. Sales had been falling due to a sharp decline in demand for printed material and a slumping subscriber base. Another factor is the dwindling number of people able to read Japanese, due to a generational change in Hawaii's Japanese community.

Hawaii Hochi's editorial bureau received many calls from readers thanking them for their hard work and asking if the newspaper could continue.

Hawaii Hochi's editorial bureau received numerous phone calls from readers.

The company plans to create an archive of past issues of the paper. Yoshida said he wants the paper's legacy to become a tool to inform people about the history of Hawaii's Japanese-Americans.

An agreement to promote a common theme of peace

The Pearl Harbor National Memorial, which manages the Arizona Memorial and other historic sites at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, signed an historic sister park agreement with the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in June.

US Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel and Hiroshima Mayor Matsui Kazumi in June

Tom Leatherman, the superintendent of the National Memorial Park, stressed the significance of the agreement saying it aims to promote world peace. He said Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima share the same historical significance in that lives were lost in connection with World War Two.

National Memorial Park superintendent Tom Leatherman spoke to NHK on December 6.

He said that what took place in the two attacks was very different, but lessons can be learned from both instances.

Meanwhile, some in Hiroshima are voicing concerns about the agreement.

Leatherman together with Hiroshima City agreed to stress the importance of peace by this project. He said, "My understanding is that the (Hiroshima) city was speaking with people and asking questions and we were making changes based on input that was coming from the community that the city was talking to."

He added that the Pearl Harbor National Memorial Park honors US history. He said the Arizona Memorial was built to honor the 1,177 sailors of the USS Arizona battleship who died in the attack on December 7, 1941. He said he wants visitors to know what happened that day in order to avoid repeating the same mistake. He said this represents a common theme for Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima, and that the agreement was signed for that purpose.

The Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor continues to draw visitors, 82 years after the attack on December 7, 1941.