No apology for attack, but still a profound promise

As the son of a gallant World War II veteran who jumped into the fight just weeks after a treacherous attack against the United States, I was hoping for an apology.

It didn’t come. Instead, the prime minister of Japan — the nation that yanked us into a global bloodbath — offered something that came pretty close to an apology.

Shinzo Abe visited the USS Arizona Memorial in Honolulu as the guest of President Obama, who is on vacation there with his family. He spoke of the “precious souls” who died during the Japanese air attack on our naval and air forces on Dec. 7, 1941.

He vowed that Japan never again would go to war. Abe offered a statement of condolence that he said, in effect, will never end.

The prime minister also expressed his gratitude for the generosity that Americans have extended to his people in the years since the “date which will live in infamy.”

“On behalf of the Japanese people, I hereby wish to express once again my heartfelt gratitude to the United States and to the world for the tolerance extended to Japan,” Abe said.

An actual apology would have been the best outcome of this first-ever visit to Pearl Harbor by a Japanese head of government.

This American, though, will accept the prime minister’s statement of eternal condolence.