Trump claimed Shinzo Abe's father was disappointed he couldn't carry out kamikaze attack, former adviser says

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty ImagesPresident Donald Trump greets Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as he arrives for talks at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, on April 17, 2018.
  • President Donald Trump during a 2019 meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, characterised Abe’s father as disappointed because he did not successfully carry out a suicide attack during World War II.
  • Abe’s father, Shintaro, volunteered as a kamikaze pilot in 1944. The Japanese, however, surrendered before he could complete special training.
  • Shinzo was born in 1954, nine years after the end of World War II.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump during a 2019 meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, characterised Abe’s father as disappointed because he did not successfully carry out a suicide attack during World War II.

The account, which comes from former national security adviser John Bolton’s new memoir, “The Room Where It Happened,” claims that Trump “loved mentioning that Abe’s father had been a World War II kamikaze pilot.”

Abe’s father, Shintaro, volunteered as a kamikaze pilot after graduating high school in 1944. The Japanese, however, surrendered before he could complete special training. Shintaro went on to attend law school and became a political reporter for a newspaper, eventually becoming a politician and the country’s foreign minister.

“Trump used it to show how tough the Japanese were generally, and how tough Abe was in particular,” Bolton wrote.

Bolton recalled that during a 2019 G-20 meeting in Japan, Trump described Shinzo’s father as disappointed because he could not complete his duties as a kamikaze pilot. Shinzo was born in 1954, nine years after the end of World War II.

“Mere historical details,” Bolton wrote.

Trump previously mentioned the topic of kamikaze pilots and highlighted their bravery, according to the New York Post. During a fundraiser in New York in August 2019, Trump reportedly recounted that he asked the Japanese prime minister if the pilots were drunk or on drugs.

After Abe denied they were and that the pilots were patriotic, Trump reportedly commented, “Imagine they get in a plane with a half a tank of gas and fly into steel ships just for the love of their country.”

Roughly 3,800 Japanese pilots died in kamikaze attacks. About three months before Japan’s surrender marking the end of World War II in 1945, nearly 5,000 US sailors died in the suicide attacks and 30 ships were sunk. Hundreds of other US ships were damaged in the conflict.

The US Navy suffered its worst loss in the war from coordinated kamikaze attacks near Okinawa’s coast on April 6, 1945. Over 300 kamikazes flew out to the US’s Fifth Fleet, hitting smaller ships rather than aircraft carriers. Nearly 2,000 Japanese pilots were killed in the attacks.

Ww2 navy80-G-326656, NARA II, College Park, Maryland via Naval History and Heritage Command.A US chaplain conducts services from a lectern for crew members who were killed in kamikaze attacks during the previous evening, on May 13, 1945.

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