Obama, at Pearl Harbour, warns against 'urge to demonise' others

VIDEO: REUTERS
US President Barack Obama speaking at Kilo Pier overlooking the USS Arizona Memorial at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Dec 27, 2016.
US President Barack Obama speaking at Kilo Pier overlooking the USS Arizona Memorial at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Dec 27, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS
US President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe giving remarks at Kilo Pier overlooking the USS Arizona Memorial at Joint Base Pearl Harbour-Hickam in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Dec 27, 2016.
US President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe giving remarks at Kilo Pier overlooking the USS Arizona Memorial at Joint Base Pearl Harbour-Hickam in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Dec 27, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS
US President Barack Obama (second, right) and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (left) paying their respects at the USS Arizona Memorial on Dec 27, 2016, at Pearl Harbour.
US President Barack Obama (second, right) and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (left) paying their respects at the USS Arizona Memorial on Dec 27, 2016, at Pearl Harbour. PHOTO: AFP
US President Barack Obama (right) listening as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks at the USS Arizona Memorial on Dec 27, 2016, at Pearl Harbour.
US President Barack Obama (right) listening as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks at the USS Arizona Memorial on Dec 27, 2016, at Pearl Harbour.PHOTO: AFP

PEARL HARBOUR, United States (AFP) - US President Barack Obama on Tuesday (Dec 27) warned against the "urge to demonise those who are different" as he hosted the leader of foe-turned-ally Japan for a solemn visit to Pearl Harbour.

Obama, who will leave office next month, also hailed the alliance between the two nations, saying it had "never been stronger."

In remarks that echoed with history and America's current hypercharged politics, Obama told Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that "the character of nations is tested in war, but it is defined in peace."

"Even when hatred burns hottest, even when the tug of tribalism is at its most primal, we must resist the urge to turn inward. We must resist the urge to demonise those who are different," Obama said.

 
 

"I welcome you here in the spirit of friendship," he told Abe.

"I hope that, together, we send a message to the world that there is more to be won in peace than in war, that reconciliation carries more rewards than retribution."