US President Obama lauds Japan-U.S. ties as ‘model of reconciliation’ to mark end of World War II

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WASHINGTON--U.S. President Barack Obama described postwar efforts by Tokyo and Washington as “a model of the power of reconciliation” in his statement marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

Released on Sept. 2, the day Japan signed the instrument of surrender in 1945, Obama’s statement said he is confident the partnership between the former adversaries “will continue to deepen in the decades to come.”

Obama also referred to those who endured unimaginable suffering as prisoners of war and paid his respects to the more than 100,000 U.S. service members who died in the Pacific theater defending their homeland.

The president wrote about his meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the United States in April.

“(We currently) work together to advance common interests and universal values in Asia and globally,” Obama said in his statement. “Seventy years ago this partnership was unimaginable.”

The same day, Secretary of State John Kerry also issued an anniversary statement in which he mentioned his visit to the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor and the American Guadalcanal Memorial in the Solomon Islands last year.

“Today we also reflect on the remarkable transformation of our relationship with Japan, from wartime adversaries to stalwart friends and allies,” Kerry said of the postwar Japan-U.S. partnership.

U.S. Senator John McCain, chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, also joined Obama and Kerry in reflecting on the day.

“While some have chosen to mark this anniversary by focusing on the past, I view this day as an opportunity to celebrate not only the end of war in the Pacific, but all of the progress we have achieved since then,” McCain said in his statement.

He stressed that Tokyo and Washington are currently making efforts to protect peace and stability throughout the world.

McCain also did not forget to tacitly criticize Beijing for its military expansion, and called for bolstering security cooperation among Japan, the United States and other related nations.

“From the ashes of war was born a rules-based international order predicated on the principles of good governance and rule of law,” he wrote. “The rules-based international order confronts increasing challenges, including in the Asia-Pacific.”