A 1969 tour of Pearl Harbor

Today marks the 75th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack. In 1969, 60 Minutes was there when the crew of a Japanese submarine toured the memorial

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Seventy-five years ago today, Japanese planes attacked Pearl Harbor, pulling a shocked United States into World War II. On Monday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced that he will visit the site later this month, making him the first sitting Japanese leader to visit Pearl Harbor. The historic visit will reciprocate President Obama’s trip to Hiroshima in May.   


But almost 50 years ago, 60 Minutes was there when a Japanese naval crew toured the site, taking the standard sightseeing tour of Pearl Harbor. They listened as the tour guide explained the 19 direct Japanese hits against U.S. battleships, the specially adapted pins on the Japanese torpedoes, and the 2,000-pound bomb that sank the USS Arizona.

In the video above, the tour guide also explains why the Arizona has never been raised from her underwater grave, and why the memorial’s flag flies at full-mast instead of half-mast, despite the 1,102 men entombed on board.

If this doesn’t look like the 60 Minutes of today, that’s because when this piece aired in 1969, the broadcast was still in its first season.  

Prime Minister Abe will visit the site during his trip to Hawaii on Dec. 26 and 27.