Here’s a touching excerpt about how Pearl Harbor survivor Joe Morgan forgave the Japanese after the naval commander, Mitsuo Fuchida, who led the attack on Pearl Harbor, spoke on the island of Maui ten years after the war:
Shortly after the attack, Joe was transferred to another unit on Maui while his previous unit was sent to the South Pacific where it suffered heavy casualties. Joe felt God had a reason for protecting him, and the only wound he carried from the war was his hatred turned animosity for the Japanese.
He never hated Japanese Americans who abound in Hawaii, just those from Japan. Two years into his Wailuku pastorate, Joe heard that Mitsuo Fuchida, the Japanese naval commander who led the attack on Pearl Harbor, was speaking on Maui.
“He was flying high above my head that day, giving orders to his pilots over the radio,” Joe recalls in his written account.
Fuchida, however, had become a Christian after meeting a former prisoner of war who had returned to post-war Japan as a missionary. Joe felt the animosity resurface and didn’t know “whether to shake Fuchida’s hand or shoot him” if they ever met.
After praying, Joe decided to attend Fuchida’s talk.
“God gave me the grace to listen,” he recalled.
After the talk, Joe, touched but still unsure of how he felt, introduced himself to Fuchida as a Pearl Harbor survivor. Fuchida bowed slightly, said “Gomenasai [I’m sorry],” and reached out to shake Joe’s hand.
At that moment, Joe realized God had changed his heart.
“The anger, hatred and animosity toward this man and his country were gone,” Joe said. “It was not how great of a Christian I was, but how great of a God I had.”
“We shook hands not as former enemies but as brothers in Christ,” Joe says at the close of every presentation on the memorial. “We both had received God’s mercy and forgiveness.
“I believe what we both experienced is the answer to bringing peace to the world today.” Read the full account of Joe Morgan’s encounter by clicking here.