As Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visits Hawaii to pay his respects at Pearl Harbor, questions remain over the future of Japan's ties with the United States when Donald Trump assumes the presidency.
While the trip is billed as the first visit to Pearl Harbor by a sitting Japanese prime minister with a U.S. president, it could be the fourth visit to the site by a prime minister of Japan. The New York Times reports that former prime ministers who have paid a visit to the site include Shigeru Yoshida and Nobusuke Kishi, the grandfather of Abe.
The visit by Abe is expected to be an opportunity for Japan to express reconciliation and more importantly, reinforce the strength of its ties with the U.S. "Prime Minister Abe is consuming a lot of his political assets to ... further build the stable base of U.S.-Japan relations," Kotaro Tamura, Asia fellow at the Milken Institute, told CNBC's "Squawkbox."
However, it might be a case of too little too late for Prime Minister Abe. "(The visit) is very important but that's not enough because (there will be) a new president in a few weeks and his policy is quite unpredictable," Tamura said.