Pearl Harbor may
get a presidential visit

George Bush's first presidential visit to Hawaii this month may include a trip to Pearl Harbor, according to a published report.

The Washington Times reported this week that Bush will visit Pearl Harbor during his stopover on Oct. 23 after an eight-day Asian and Australian visit.

A spokesman at the U.S. Pacific Command said he could not confirm the report and referred all questions on Bush's visit to White House officials, who would not say how long the president will be in the islands or what functions he may attend.

The only Bush function publicized so far by Gov. Linda Lingle's office is a GOP fund-raiser at 6 p.m. Oct. 23 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

Two years ago, Bush was invited to Pearl Harbor to mark the observance of the 60th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, but he instead observed the anniversary aboard an aircraft carrier in Virginia.

Twelve years ago, his father, then-President George H.W. Bush, was the keynote speaker on the USS Arizona Memorial during the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Dec. 7, 1941, attack.

On his Asia-Pacific trip this month, Bush will meet with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, address the Philippine Congress, attend the annual summit of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation in Bangkok, meet in Singapore with the nation's president and prime minister, and speak before Australia's Parliament, according to the Washington Times.

A visit by Bush to Pearl Harbor on Oct. 23 would coincide with the first port call there by two Russian vessels in eight years.

Interfax-Military News Agency in Vladivostok, Russia, this week reported that two ships from Russia's Pacific Fleet will visit Pearl Harbor Oct. 24-29. The vessels are the anti-submarine ship Marshall Shaposhnikov and the tanker Pechenega. It will be the first time Russian naval vessels have visited Hawaii in eight years, the news agency said.

In 1995, the Admiral Panteleyev and two other vessels participated in the first combined training mission involving U.S. and Russian military forces to be held in the United States.


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