Japan's PM honours those lost in Darwin bombing
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has laid a wreath at the Darwin Cenotaph overlooking the city's harbour nearly 77 years after Japan's military bombed it.
Australian PM Scott Morrison laid the wreath with Mr Abe, who is the first Japanese prime minister to visit Darwin which was bombed in February 1942 during World War II.
Fittingly the Darwin Cenotaph overlooks the harbour where an estimated 242 Japanese aircraft attacked Darwin, killing about 240 people including some US defence members.
Darwin's harbour and airfields were key wartime bases for the allies with the air raids on February 19 the largest attack by a foreign power on mainland Australia and the first of more than 100 Japanese raids during the war.
Mr Abe and Mr Morrison walked together in Darwin's Bicentenntial Park to the cenotaph for a solemn military ceremony including the playing of the Last Post.
Australian and Japanese government ministers and other dignitaries attended, including military veterans and curious locals.
Tomorrow, Mr Abe will honour his country's war dead and visit the memorial of the 80-crew Japanese submarine I-124, which was sunk off Darwin in January 1942.
Mr Morrison has described Mr Abe's visit as "deeply symbolic and significant and it will build on our two countries' strong and enduring friendship as well as our economic, security, community and historical ties,".
Today, Mr Abe and Mr Morrison will have their first face-to-face meeting since Australia's leadership change in Canberra in August and will discuss trade and security issues before heading to Port Moresby for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.
The visit also included Friday's official opening of the recently completed $A55 billion LNG project operated by Inpex which will provide 10 per cent of Japan's natural gas.
© AAP 2018