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News Article | April 29, 2017
Site: www.theguardian.com

The next time you are on a train take a moment to look out of the window. As you trundle along the line consider all the other lines you can see – roads, canals, power lines; and (once you’re out of the city) hedges, ditches, dykes and drystone walls. It is one of the defining features of humanity that we love lines. So significant is our love that we have created a “linescape” out of the landscape. These lines bring with them both great benefits to the life with which we share the land and also considerable threat. The first lines we etched into the land were specifically to fragment it – to assert ownership or restrain livestock – but these have inadvertently become the agents of connectivity for wildlife. For instance, stoats make wonderful use of walls to weave their way through moorland. We are, rightly, concerned about loss of wildlife habitat. But there is less attention paid to the fragmentation of what remains. For example, recent research shows that we need at least 90 hectares (0.3 square miles) of undivided, good quality habitat to support a population of hedgehogs. Now try to find where these patches are in our suburbs and you will begin to understand why hedgehogs are declining so fast. We need to reclaim the lines that have sliced and diced our lives into such insularity. From the green lanes under threat of neglect to hedges that remain unlayed and unloved; from verges mown clear of vital flowers to railway lines that need to operate within a cordon sanitaire, there are lines that can help wildlife flourish. We just need to start treating ecology with the same degree of seriousness with which we treat the economy. There is a great risk, however, that in trying to tackle the obvious we exacerbate the bigger problem. For example, last week the Guardian’s Tim Dowling argued for great walls to be built alongside roads to reduce the death toll caused by our cars and lorries. Yes, roadkill is a vast problem – some 150,000 hedgehogs alone die every year on our roads – but to hermetically seal roads from wildlife will create absolute fragmentation of the landscape for all those not blessed with the power of flight. Already this is being done, to some extent, with the roll-out of concrete barriers down the central reservations of busy roads. Roads are such an obvious blight; they affect not just the terrestrial – birds, bugs and bats all suffer, so much so that it can be hard to see roads ever presenting an ecological good – but even they have potential. For instance, the dormice that live alongside the A36 in peace and with security, while their nests are shaken by the turbulence of passing articulated trucks, enjoy the absence of people and predators. Conservation charity Plantlife released a report extolling the virtues of the verge. In fact, the expanses of land alongside roads are home to more than 800 species of plant and can be, if managed sensitively, a refuge. Artist Edward Chell took note of this in his brilliant exhibition and book, Soft Estate, in which he argued that this landscape should be considered close to wilderness in that it remains unpeopled. In 2010, Professor Sir John Lawton published a report called Making Space for Nature. This significant document was one of the most powerful calls for a more ecologically literate approach to conservation. It was filled with an optimism that is left seeming a little naive in the face of seven years of anti-ecological politics. But it remains important. We need more space for nature, it needs to be of better quality – and it needs to be joined up. That is where our linescapes can come into their own. How do we start to rebuild and reconnect? There are examples of wonderful bridges, ecoducts, from around the world, where this issue is treated with more respect. And there are a few examples closer to home, such as the Devil’s Punchbowl in Surrey. After many years of campaigning by local people, plans to devastate the beauty of this natural amphitheatre, already compromised by the A3, were shelved and a tunnel built. This has re-consecrated a remarkable habitat. So a tunnel under Stonehenge might seem a great idea, but is fraught with difficulty and, if done as currently planned, will just further diminish this sacred land. There is hope, beyond Lawton’s wishes. And this comes in the shape of the Linear Infrastructure Network (LINet). This gathering of charities, businesses and government agencies has in mind a practical vision of a connected landscape. It calculates that the land associated with the 250,000 miles of public roads, the 10,000 miles of railways and 9,000 miles of energy networks totals 16,000 square miles. This is land that could, and I believe should, be managed with ecological good in mind. We can argue this through the cloudy lens of natural capital, the way in which accountants price and value nature with a crude currency. Or we could be bigger than that, recognise that the economy is but one small subset of the ecosystem and manage this land for the benefit of all the life that depends on a connected landscape. Because this is more than just nature at stake. We should reclaim the linescape of this country for us all. For what we see racing by through the train window is what keeps us alive.


News Article | July 17, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Punchbowl®, the company behind the critically acclaimed technology platform for online invitations, today announced the debut of The Marvel Online Invitation Collection. Punchbowl will provide online invitations starring iconic Marvel characters from Spider-Man, The Avengers, and Guardians of the Galaxy. “Marvel characters are immensely popular as kids’ birthday party themes," said Matt Douglas, CEO, Punchbowl. "We’re thrilled to work with Marvel to create a bold, dynamic collection of online invitations for parents planning parties for millions of young fans." Designed in collaboration with Marvel, the new online invitation collection offers parents over 40 online invitation designs to match Marvel-themed birthday parties for their children. The Marvel online invitations can be created and sent from any device, and select designs have the ability to add a child’s photo next to the character on the invite. Marvel is the latest brand to bring iconic characters to life through online invitations on Punchbowl. Punchbowl also offers invitations starring beloved characters from Disney, Activision, Hasbro, Nickelodeon, Penguin Books, Sanrio, Scholastic, Sesame Street, and WWE. About Punchbowl, Inc. Punchbowl is the company behind the critically acclaimed technology platform for online invitations and digital greeting cards. The company runs its platform on Punchbowl.com, best-in-class iOS and Android apps, and also licenses its technology to carefully selected consumer companies. More than 120 million online invitations and digital greeting cards have been sent on the Punchbowl platform. The company was founded by entrepreneur Matt Douglas, is located in Framingham, MA, and is backed by Intel Capital, Contour Venture Partners, and Launchpad Venture Group. To learn more, visit https://www.punchbowl.com/company About Marvel Entertainment Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of more than 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy-five years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing. For more information visit marvel.com. © 2017 MARVEL


News Article | July 17, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Punchbowl®, the company behind the critically acclaimed technology platform for online invitations and digital greeting cards, today announced the closing of an investment from leading party goods company Party City (NYSE:PRTY). Ryan Vero, Executive Vice President of Party City Holdco Inc. and President of Party City Retail Group, has joined the company’s Board of Directors. Punchbowl is the new gold standard in online invitations. The company’s technology platform reaches tens of millions of consumers each year, and its state-of-the-art website and native mobile applications have received critical acclaim. The company was founded by technology entrepreneur Matt Douglas. Punchbowl is also backed by Intel Capital, Contour Venture Partners, and Launchpad Venture Group. “We are thrilled to announce this investment from Party City and welcome Ryan Vero to the Punchbowl Board of Directors,” said Matt Douglas, CEO, Punchbowl, Inc. “This strategic partnership will help fuel the next phase of our growth as a company, and solidifies our position as a leader in the celebrations market.” In a separate announcement, Party City unveiled a new digital invitation platform on PartyCity.com, powered by Punchbowl. The new capability provides party givers with a single source at PartyCity.com to create invitations while ordering their party supplies online. To learn more about Punchbowl, visit https://www.punchbowl.com/company. To learn more about Party City, visit http://investor.partycity.com/investors/default.aspx. About Punchbowl, Inc. Punchbowl is the company behind the critically acclaimed technology platform for online invitations and digital greeting cards. The company runs its platform on Punchbowl.com, best-in-class iOS and Android apps, and also licenses its technology to carefully selected consumer companies. More than 120 million online invitations and digital greeting cards have been sent on the Punchbowl platform. The company was founded by entrepreneur Matt Douglas, is located in Framingham, MA, and is backed by Intel Capital, Contour Venture Partners, and Launchpad Venture Group. To learn more, visit https://www.punchbowl.com/company About Party City Party City Holdco Inc. is the leading party goods company by revenue in North America and, we believe, the largest vertically integrated supplier of decorated party goods globally by revenue. The Company is a popular one-stop shopping destination for party supplies, balloons, and costumes. In addition to being a great retail brand, the Company is a global, world-class organization that combines state-of-the-art manufacturing and sourcing operations, and sophisticated wholesale operations complemented by a multi-channel retailing strategy and e-commerce retail operations. The Company is the leading player in its category, vertically integrated and unique in its breadth and depth. Party City Holdco designs, manufactures, sources and distributes party goods, including paper and plastic tableware, metallic and latex balloons, Halloween and other costumes, accessories, novelties, gifts and stationery throughout the world. The Company’s retail operations include over 900 specialty retail party supply stores (including approximately 150 franchise stores) throughout North America operating under the name Party City and e-commerce websites, principally through the domain name http://www.PartyCity.com, as well as approximately 250-300 temporary specialty Halloween supply stores operating under the name Halloween City.


News Article | July 17, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.com

In conjunction with this agreement, Party City has made a minority investment in Punchbowl. Ryan Vero, Executive Vice President of Party City Holdco Inc. and President of Party City Retail Group, has joined Punchbowl's Board of Directors. "Our agreement with Punchbowl represents yet another investment as we continue to grow our portfolio of digital assets," said Party City CEO Jim Harrison. "With this new capability, party givers will have a single source at PartyCity.com to create invitations while ordering their party supplies online." Party City's omni-channel strategy is reflected both in its fleet of over 900 retail locations in the United States, as well as through its own website (partycity.com) which receives an average of 400,000 daily visits. "As the leading party goods supplier, Party City is an ideal partner for us," said Punchbowl CEO Matt Douglas. "We view this as an excellent and logical combination of services with clear benefits for consumers, especially the time-constrained party giver.  We also welcome Party City as a new investor who shares our enthusiasm for online greeting cards and invitations." The digital invitation platform will enable consumers to make their own online invites using a wide variety of designs, colors, fonts and themes, as well as licensed characters from Disney, Hasbro, Sesame Street and other well-known entertainment properties.  Party City and Punchbowl hold the broadest portfolio of licenses, which means invitations and parties can be themed from beginning to end. In addition to personalizing their invitations, party hosts will be able to track RSVPs, add a co-host to each invite, and create message boards to communicate with guests, using a platform that is optimized for mobile devices.  Consumers can purchase online invitations on an as-needed basis and the invitations are received by guests free of advertising. This new agreement follows Party City's earlier announcement in May that it is partnering with investment firm Ampology, of Fort Lee, NJ to develop "Kazzam," an online marketplace that will bring party hosts together with party services.  Through Kazzam, users will be able to choose from a spectrum of vetted service providers for party activities and entertainment, as well as for ordering party supplies. "By adding the Punchbowl capability adjacent to the Kazzam marketplace, we believe that Party City will enjoy the unique competitive position of providing end-to-end party services," concluded Harrison. Punchbowl is the company behind the critically acclaimed technology platform for online invitations and digital greeting cards. The company runs its platform on Punchbowl.com, best-in-class iOS and Android apps, and also licenses its technology to carefully selected consumer companies. More than 120 million online invitations and digital greeting cards have been sent on the Punchbowl platform. The company was founded by entrepreneur Matt Douglas, is located in Framingham, MA, and is backed by Intel Capital, Contour Venture Partners, and Launchpad Venture Group. To learn more, visit https://www.punchbowl.com/company Party City Holdco Inc. is the leading party goods company by revenue in North America and, we believe, the largest vertically integrated supplier of decorated party goods globally by revenue. The Company is a popular one-stop shopping destination for party supplies, balloons, and costumes. In addition to being a great retail brand, the Company is a global, world-class organization that combines state-of-the-art manufacturing and sourcing operations, and sophisticated wholesale operations complemented by a multi-channel retailing strategy and e-commerce retail operations. The Company is the leading player in its category, vertically integrated and unique in its breadth and depth. Party City Holdco designs, manufactures, sources and distributes party goods, including paper and plastic tableware, metallic and latex balloons, Halloween and other costumes, accessories, novelties, gifts and stationery throughout the world. The Company's retail operations include over 900 specialty retail party supply stores (including approximately 150 franchise stores) throughout North America operating under the name Party City and e-commerce websites, principally through the domain name www.PartyCity.com, as well as approximately 250-300 temporary specialty Halloween supply stores operating under the name Halloween City.


News Article | May 23, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.com

For those planning to visit an award-winning landmark this year, TripAdvisor has also identified top-rated tours and experiences bookable on TripAdvisor. Top 10 Landmarks in the U.S.: This 4,200-foot marvel of engineering opened 80 years ago and remains the signature landmark of San Francisco. "Don't just drive over it. Stop. Get out of your car and experience it on foot. Walk over the bridge. Take photos. You will be glad you did," recommended a TripAdvisor reviewer. Top-rated tour: San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge Bike Tour – book on TripAdvisor from $55 per person The iconic marble statue of America's 16th president presides over the National Mall as an enduring monument to the nation's cherished values of freedom and equality. "From the setting, facing the reflecting pool and Washington Monument, to the statue and historic speeches inscribed on the walls, this place is momentous and awe-inspiring," commented one TripAdvisor reviewer. Top-rated tour: Washington DC Monuments Bike Tour – book on TripAdvisor from $40 per person Impenetrable and escape-proof, Alcatraz operated as a prison for only 29 years, housing America's most notorious criminals in infamous conditions. Noted one TripAdvisor reviewer, "Prison life was tough. The accommodations are Spartan, with no privacy. Between the audio tour, signage and staff, you can't help but have a fantastic history lesson." Top-rated tour: Alcatraz Tour plus Muir Woods, Giant Redwoods and Sausalito Day Trip – book on TripAdvisor from $79 per person Grand Central's stunning Beaux-Arts design, a delight to tourists, is also a prime example of art serving function: more than 750,000 commuters pass through daily. A TripAdvisor reviewer remarked, "It's what every railway tries to be: a stunning active terminal with complex layouts and opulence from the golden age of the railroad." Top-rated tour: Grand Central Indoor Food Tour – book on TripAdvisor from $89 per person 5. Statue of Liberty – New York City, New York Lady Liberty's lighted torch serves as a symbol of welcome and inclusion to all those hoping to make a better life in a new world. "The ferry ride provides excellent views of Liberty Island and Ellis Island. Once on the island, just keep walking and you will get wonderful views of the Manhattan skyline and the green lady," recommended a TripAdvisor reviewer. Top-rated tour: Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Guided Tour – book on TripAdvisor from $55 per person The USS Arizona Memorial floats above the submerged battleship and honors the thousands of Americans who died during the attack on Pearl Harbor. "The memorial offers a unique perspective, both emotionally and visually," a TripAdvisor reviewer commented. Top-rated tour: Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor and Punchbowl Sightseeing Tour – book on TripAdvisor from $50 per person Spanning 102 floors and more than 1,450 feet, this Art Deco masterpiece is arguably America's most iconic skyscraper. A TripAdvisor reviewer advised, "There's no better place to see the city lights than from the observation deck at night." Top-rated tour: Empire State Building Tickets - Observatory and Optional Skip the Line Tickets – book on TripAdvisor from $34 per person Shop, stroll, skate or search the skyline at this sprawling, soaring complex of office buildings, stores, restaurants and public art. "You can visit Rock Center regularly and never get tired of the time you spend there. There's always something beautiful to see," a TripAdvisor reviewer raved. Top-rated tour: Big Bus New York Hop-On Hop-Off Tour – book on TripAdvisor from $41 per person This magnificent Neo-Gothic cathedral, famed for its classic spires and beautiful stained glass, is a National Historic landmark and still a local parish church. A TripAdvisor reviewer noted the "cathedral is open to all for a visit or for services. Take a break from the opulence of the city and reset for a bit." Top-rated tour: NYC Highlights Small-Group Tour – book on TripAdvisor from $74 per person Take a trip to the Gilded Age of the late 19th century at this lavish, expansive estate that contains a chateau, winery, farm, shops and restaurants. One TripAdvisor reviewer called it "a beautiful example of the excesses of wealth and a real work of art. In the spring, the gardens have the most beautiful flowers." For the complete list of the 2017 Travelers' Choice Landmarks winners, as well as reviews and candid traveler photos, go to: www.tripadvisor.com/TravelersChoice-Landmarks. TripAdvisor is the world's largest travel site, enabling travelers to unleash the full potential of every trip. Travelers can read the latest reviews and compare prices from more than 200 sites to find the lowest prices on the right hotel for their trip at www.TripAdvisor.com. About TripAdvisor TripAdvisor, the world's largest travel site*, enables travelers to unleash the full potential of every trip. With more than 500 million reviews and opinions covering the world's largest selection of travel listings worldwide -- over 7 million accommodations, airlines, attractions, and restaurants -- TripAdvisor provides travelers with the wisdom of the crowds to help them decide where to stay, how to fly, what to do and where to eat. TripAdvisor also compares prices from more than 200 hotel booking sites so travelers can find the lowest price on the hotel that's right for them. TripAdvisor-branded sites are available in 49 markets, and are home to the world's largest travel community of 390 million average unique monthly visitors,** all looking to get the most out of every trip.  TripAdvisor. Know better. Book better. Go better. TripAdvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRIP), through its subsidiaries, manages and operates websites under 22 other travel media brands: www.airfarewatchdog.com, www.bookingbuddy.com, www.citymaps.com,www.cruisecritic.com, www.familyvacationcritic.com, www.flipkey.com, www.thefork.com (including www.lafourchette.com, www.eltenedor.com, www.iens.nl and www.dimmi.com.au), www.gateguru.com, www.holidaylettings.co.uk, www.holidaywatchdog.com, www.housetrip.com, www.independenttraveler.com, www.jetsetter.com, www.niumba.com, www.onetime.com, www.oyster.com, www.seatguru.com, www.smartertravel.com, www.tingo.com, www.tripbod.com, www.vacationhomerentals.com and www.viator.com. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/tripadvisor-announces-worlds-top-landmarks-with-travelers-choice-awards-300461978.html


Faouzi M.,Punchbowl | Penner R.,Punchbowl
Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology | Year: 2014

TRPM2 is the second member of the transient receptor potential melastatinrelated (TRPM) family of cation channels. The protein is widely expressed including in the brain, immune system, endocrine cells, and endothelia. It embodies both ion channel functionality and enzymatic ADP-ribose (ADPr) hydrolase activity. TRPM2 is a Ca2+-permeable nonselective cation channel embedded in the plasma membrane and/or lysosomal compartments that is primarily activated in a synergistic fashion by intracellular ADP-ribose (ADPr) and Ca2+. It is also activated by reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS/NOS) and enhanced by additional factors, such as cyclic ADPr and NAADP, while inhibited by permeating protons (acidic pH) and adenosine monophosphate (AMP). Activation of TRPM2 leads to increases in intracellular Ca2+ levels, which can serve signaling roles in inflammatory and secretory cells through release of vesicular mediators (e.g., cytokines, neurotransmitters, insulin) and in extreme cases can induce apoptotic and necrotic cell death under oxidative stress. © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014.


Koenig M.A.,Punchbowl
Critical Care Clinics | Year: 2014

Brain injury represents the major cause of long-term disability and mortality among patients resuscitated from cardiac arrest. Brain-directed therapies include maintenance of normal oxygenation, hemodynamic support to optimize cerebral perfusion, glycemic control, and targeted temperature management. Pertinent guidelines and recommendations are reviewed for brain-directed treatment. The latest clinical trial data regarding targeted temperature management are also reviewed. Contemporary prognostication among initially comatose cardiac arrest survivors uses a combination of clinical and electrophysiologic tests. The most recent guidelines for prognostication after cardiac arrest are reviewed. Ongoing research regarding the effects of induced hypothermia on prognostic algorithms is also reviewed. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.


News Article | April 21, 2015
Site: www.zdnet.com

Severe weather along Australia's New South Wales coast has seen power failures hit telecommunications services in areas as far afield as Taree, Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong, and Nowra. "Severe storms in NSW overnight have resulted in widespread power outages, which have significantly impacted Telstra services across the Sydney, Hunter, and Illawarra regions," a spokesperson for Telstra told ZDNet in a statement on Tuesday. "Currently, more than 17,000 fixed-line services, more than 13,000 ADSL services, a number of 2G, 3G, and 4G mobile sites, as well as BigPond cable and Foxtel services are off the air. "Our restoration teams are working as quickly as possible to deploy backup generators and emergency battery equipment. As soon as we have more information, we will provide a further update. In the meantime, we thank customers for their patience and understanding," said Telstra. Fellow telco Vodafone Australia said that the severe weather had impacted a number of its sites along the NSW east coast, with some customers unable to access voice, text or data services. "We are working to restore services as soon as possible," a Vodafone spokesperson said. Meanwhile, Australia's second-largest telco Optus said that power outages resulting from storm damage had been causing disruptions to its mobile and fixed-line networks. "There are disruptions to mobile voice and data services in the Western Sydney suburbs of Bankstown and Punchbowl, as well as the Central Coast and Hunter Valley," a spokesperson told ZDNet in a statement. "Power failures are also causing disruptions to some broadband internet and landline phone services across some parts of Sydney's Northern Beaches. "Where possible, we have deployed backup generators and are working with local power authorities to restore power as quickly as possible," said Optus. "We apologise for the disruptions to our customers and appreciate their understanding." The severe weather has reportedly resulted in the deaths of at least three people trapped in their homes amid rising flood waters in the inland town of Dungog, and has seen more than 100 schools closed across the state. Heavy rain and winds of up to 130 kilometres per hour have reportedly seen power cut to more than 200,000 properties across the state.


Punchbowl®, the gold standard in online invitations, today unveiled a state-of-the-art iOS App for iPhone and iPad — an innovative platform for creating, sending, and managing digital party invitations. The company also launched a pledge campaign to raise awareness about the environmental impact of paper invitations and cards sent during the holiday season. “Literally billions of paper invites and cards are sent and discarded during the holiday season, and the impact this tradition has on our planet is staggering,” said Matt Douglas, CEO, Punchbowl, Inc. “Our platform makes it possible to send digital party invitations and cards that are memorable and personal, and do not contribute to this cycle of waste.” The new iOS app from Punchbowl, created by the team that won the prestigious MITX award for user interface design, is packed with thousands of beautiful, free online invitation designs and powerful features to make planning easier for busy holiday party hosts. Highlights of the app include: “I like to send digital invites because they have a positive effect on the environment,” said Susi Ecker, Punchbowl user. “They are quick and easy, with no envelopes to lick or stamps to stick on. The response from the recipients is always so positive as well.” Today, the company also launched a pledge campaign for the holiday season. This year, Punchbowl will donate $1 for every paid membership sold to help eliminate unnecessary paper production and waste. The company will make an additional donation when consumers select a design from a special collection of hand-picked designs. The money will be donated to Punchbowl.org Environmental Fund, Inc., an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that launched earlier this year. To experience the new iOS app from Punchbowl, download it for free from the App Store. About Punchbowl, Inc. Punchbowl is the company behind the critically acclaimed website Punchbowl.com, the new gold standard in online invitations. The site includes the ‘Characters Kids Love’ online invitation collection, which features iconic, beloved characters and the Handmade Art Collection that features gorgeous invitations handmade with paint, chalk, collage, pen, pencil, and calligraphy. More than 120 million online invitations and digital greeting cards have been sent from Punchbowl. The company was founded by technology entrepreneur Matt Douglas, is located in Framingham, MA, and is backed by Intel Capital and Contour Venture Partners. To learn more, visit https://www.punchbowl.com/company


News Article | December 26, 2016
Site: news.yahoo.com

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe laid wreaths at various cemeteries and memorials Monday ahead of a visit to the site of the 1941 bombing that plunged the United States into World War II. Abe landed at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and then headed to National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, where he laid a wreath. He stood for a moment of silence at the cemetery near downtown Honolulu, which is known as Punchbowl. He later visited a nearby memorial for nine boys and men who died when a U.S. Navy submarine collided with their Japanese fishing vessel in 2001. At the Ehime Maru Memorial, he again laid a wreath and bowed his head. Abe finished his day with a reception dinner at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu where he spoke about his visit. On Tuesday, he'll be the first Japanese prime minister to visit the memorial that honors sailors and Marines killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor. Japan's former leader Shigeru Yoshida went to Pearl Harbor six years after the country's World War II surrender, but that was before the USS Arizona Memorial was built. Yoshida arrived at Pearl Harbor in 1951, shortly after requesting a courtesy visit to the office of Adm. Arthur W.R. Radford, commander of the U.S. Pacific fleet. The office overlooked Pearl Harbor, offering a direct view of the attack site. Two other Japanese prime ministers have also visited Pearl Harbor. Ichiro Hatoyama spent time here in 1956 and Nobusuke Kishi in 1957. The Japanese government confirmed the visits by Hatoyama and Kishi this week after a Japanese language newspaper in Hawaii pointed them out. The memorial will be closed to the public Tuesday when Abe visits the historic site, joined by U.S. President Barack Obama, who is vacationing in Hawaii with his family. The importance of the visit may be mostly symbolic for two countries that, in a remarkable transformation, have grown into close allies in the decades since they faced off in brutal conflict. At the same time, it's significant that it took more than 70 years for U.S.-Japanese relations to get to this point. Abe won't apologize for Japan's attack when he visits, a government spokesman said earlier this month. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that "the purpose of the upcoming visit is to pay respects for the war dead and not to offer an apology." The visit comes six months after Obama became the first sitting American president to visit Hiroshima for victims of the U.S. atomic bombing of that city at the end of the same war. Pearl Harbor survivor Alfred Rodrigues said Monday he welcomes the visit by Japan's top leader to Hawaii. "I'm glad he's coming to show that we're all peaceful now and you know, we were doing what we were supposed to do and they were doing what they were supposed to do," he told The Associated Press. Remembering the day of the attack in 1941, Rodrigues said that he had just sat down to have breakfast when the alarm sounded and the word got out, 'Man your battle stations, this is not a drill,' he recalled. "We all ran out to the armory to get rifles and ammunition and we could see the planes up above with the red circles on the bottom. We knew it was the Japanese planes," Rodrigues said. Rodrigues says he doesn't think Abe should apologize. "War is war. I mean, they were doing what they were supposed to do and we were doing what we were supposed to do. I have no animosity at all towards them." Associated Press writer Mari Yamaguchi contributed to this report from Tokyo.

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