Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Picture: AFP
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Picture: AFP

Japan’s PM to commemorate Darwin bombing

JAPAN'S Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is reportedly planning a historic visit to Darwin, more than 75 years after the country's forces bombed the city during World War II.

The visit, said to be planned for November, would be the first by a Japanese leader to Darwin since the country's devastating air raids on the city, ABC reports.

 

Black smoke covers the Darwin skyline after the Japanese launched 188 fighter planes against Darwin on February, 19, 1942, the first of many bomb attacks on the city. Picture: News Corp Australia
Black smoke covers the Darwin skyline after the Japanese launched 188 fighter planes against Darwin on February, 19, 1942, the first of many bomb attacks on the city. Picture: News Corp Australia

 

Aerial view of the bombing of Darwin by the Japanese during World War II. Picture: News Corp Australia
Aerial view of the bombing of Darwin by the Japanese during World War II. Picture: News Corp Australia

 

About 235 people were killed and up to 400 were wounded when 188 Japanese planes attacked Northern Territory's capital in 1942.

The bombing of Darwin is the largest single attack ever mounted by a foreign power on Australia.

 

The granddaughter of a Japanese pilot killed during the Bombing of Darwin scattered the ashes of her grandmother in the Darwin Harbour. Picture: News Corp Australia.
The granddaughter of a Japanese pilot killed during the Bombing of Darwin scattered the ashes of her grandmother in the Darwin Harbour. Picture: News Corp Australia.

 

Mr Abe will reportedly be greeted by Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Darwin before both leaders continue on to Papua New Guinea for the APEC summit in Port Moresby.

In mid-November Australia's top end will be a stopping point for leaders attending APEC and the East Asia Summit in Singapore.

It's undersood US Vice-President Mike Pence will stay in Cairns during his Asia-Pacific visit.

It's unclear which members of the Morrison government will meet with Mr Pence on his arrival in Australia - ABC reports Scott Morrison will be in Darwin with Abe at that time.

Then-prime minister Malcolm Turnbull last year praised the reconciliation between Australia and Japan at a memorial service commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Darwin attack.

During a visit to Tokyo earlier this year, he and Mr Abe discussed forging closer defence ties.


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