American Vets Meet Japanese for Softball Challenge

Former enemies face off in a game of softball more than 60 years after war.

ByABC News
December 21, 2007, 9:42 AM

Dec. 21, 2007— -- It's been more than 60 years since the end of World War II, and this month a group of U.S. war veterans who served in the Pacific -- men now in their 80s -- took part in a historic battle with their Japanese counterpoints, in the shadow of Pearl Harbor.

For the first time, the Americans, members of a legendary Florida softball team, met their former enemies, a group of Japanese war vets who'd formed their own team just for the occasion, to play an epic game of softball.

Tune in to tonight's 'World News With Charles Gibson' for Neal Karlinsky's report from Hawaii.

Click here to view images of this historic game.

The face-to-face meeting, 60 years in the making, was inspired by a documentary by a Japanese filmmaker about the Kids & Kubs softball league, which was created for people over 75 years old. The world-renowned league was founded in 1930 in St. Petersburgh, Fla.

The veterans also visited Pearl Harbor together, and several other war memorials, to pay tribute to their comrades. In the end, these former enemies came away as great friends. The men from both sides told ABC News' Neal Karlinksy how incredible it was to finally meet, and that time had healed old wounds.