Why Pearl Harbor? Why now?

Memorial Day is a day that Americans remember the soldiers who lost their lives in combat for all wars since the Civil War. Each year on Memorial Day weekend at the end of May, Hollywood releases a summer movie that is expected to be a mega-hit.

The movie everyone has their eyes on this year is "Pearl Harbor." This film reportedly has the largest budget in the history of movie-making, and racked up the second highest box-office gross during Memorial day weekend on record. The movie is scheduled for a July release in Japan. In the meantime, a Japanese movie titled "Hotaru" ("Firefly") was released on May 26 in Japan. This film also presents a wartime theme, centering around the lives of surviving kamikaze pilots. This film is planned to eventually be released worldwide.

The New York Times front page reporting the Pearl Harbor attack on December 8, 1941

Over 50 years have passed since the end of World War II. What could have inspired both America and Japan to reopen the history books and revive the memories of a time long past? In particular, why choose Pearl Harbor, and why now? The subject of Pearl Harbor often arises when discussing U.S.-Japan relations, and Pearl Harbor has cast a deep shadow upon the image of Japan as seen by the average American. What does he term "Pearl Harbor" conjure up in people's psyches?

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