The historic visit to Honolulu of Japan’s top leader began Monday morning at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe paid his respects at several important locations around the city, including a floral tribute at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific known as Punchbowl.

Abe also made a stop at the Japanese section of the Makiki Cemetery Monument that holds the remains of Japanese in Hawaii who died without descendants.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his entourage Monday at Kakaako Waterfront Park. Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

As well, the prime minister recognized Japanese sailors who died in Hawaii or on navy warships passing by the islands during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

And, the prime minister visited the Ehime Maru Memorial at Kakaako Waterfront Park.

Nine Japanese, some of of them students, died when a Japanese fisheries training ship, the Ehime Maru, sank after accidentally being struck off Oahu by a U.S. nuclear submarine in 2001.

A floral wreath Monday at the Ehime Maru Memorial at Kakaako Waterfront Park. Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

A reception sponsored by the Consulate General of Japan in Honolulu was scheduled for Monday evening at the Hawaii Convention Center. The guest list is said to include local dignitaries and a lot of Japanese media.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige was among those greeting Abe when he arrived. The two have previously met several times.

Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Visits Ehime Maru Memorial, from Honolulu Civil Beat on Vimeo.

Later, the governor’s office tweeted out a photo of Ige meeting Caroline Kennedy, the U.S. ambassador to Japan.

Japan’s Prime Minster Shinzo Abe’s plane flies over Air Force One at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam on Monday. Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Abe is scheduled to meet with President Barack Obama on Tuesday and visit the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor.

It’s not clear where the prime minister will stay during his brief visit. The Japanese Consulate did not provide any more details in his itinerary.

Obama and his family are staying in Kailua on Oahu, part of their annual holiday routine.

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