President Donald Trump will go to Tokyo for the second time in his presidency on Friday for an official state visit linked to the rise of the throne of the new Japanese emperor.
He and the first lady Melania Trump are the first state guests of Emperor Naruhito, who ascended to the Chrysanthemum throne on May 1, after his father's early abdication.
The US president conducts bilateral talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and gives a speech on Memorial Day to troops stationed at an American naval base in Yokosuka before he and Melania return to Washington.
During the long weekend, Trump will be the guest of honor at cultural events designed to flatter the visiting leader – including a sumo wrestling tournament, where he will offer the winner a prize – and demonstrate the power of friendship between nations.
& # 39; As Japan's first host country after the rise of His Majesty Emperor Naruhito on May 1, this president's visit really comes at a historic moment in Japan and shows that the alliance between the United States and Japan has never been has been so strong, & # 39; a senior White House official told press prior to the first couple's visit.
President Donald Trump goes to Tokyo for the second time in his presidency on Friday for an official state visit linked to the rise of the throne of the new Japanese emperor
The Mongolian Tamawashi (L) and ozeki Takayasu (R) compete on day seven of the Grand Sumo May tournament at Ryogoku Kokugikan on May 17, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. Trump and Abe will attend the last day of the tournament this weekend
The US president says he will give a prize to the winner of the tournament, which is not referred to colloquially in Japan as the Trump Cup
The new Japanese emperor Naruhito (L) and Empress Masako (R) wave good-bye to benefactors during their first appearance after the ascension in the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on 4 May. They will receive Donald and Melania Trump as their first host country next week
Police officers stand near the US embassy for the US president's visit to Tokyo
& # 39; The alliance is the cornerstone of peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region & # 39 ;, the US official added. & # 39; The United States & # 39; and Japan's shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific serve as the basis for a global partnership that strengthens security, prosperity and a rule-based order around the world. & # 39;
However, sensitive issues such as regional security and trade are not on the agenda.
Little heavy lifting is expected on the visit to the meatier gathering of leaders from & # 39; the world's largest economies next month.
& # 39; I think it will be a very kind kind of cordial, although it will be a kind of staged moment & # 39 ;, said Annika Culver, associate professor of East Asian history at Florida State University.
TRUMP & # 39; S TOKYO TRIP
- Friday: departure from the White House to Japan.
- Saturday: President and first lady arrive in Tokyo.
- Sunday: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Trump participate in an informal activity, probably golf.
- They attend the Spring Basho Sumo tournament, which that evening with their wives the & # 39; Trump Cup & # 39; is called.
- Monday: President Trump and Mrs. Trump call on the emperor and empress during an official state visit.
- The prime minister and president break off for talks, followed by a joint press conference.
- They end the day with a black-tie banquet at the Imperial Palace.
- Tuesday: the US president speaks with troops stationed at the US naval base in Yokosuka.
- The president and the first lady return to Washington.
& # 39; I doubt that something very special will be achieved, but this kind of important continuation or a sense of positive relationships. & # 39;
The US President's trade war with China and his desire to enter into an economic agreement with Japan have been put on hold.
& # 39; I don't think the purpose of this trip is to focus on trade. They are truly state guests of Their Majesties. And that really is the crux of the visit, & said the US official who spoke to the press. & # 39; It is a celebration of their new roles and this new era that has begun – the Reiwa era – and an opportunity to celebrate the alliance. & # 39;
Trump returns to Japan in June to convene the Group of 20 leaders taking place in Osaka this year.
He says he will hold summit conferences with China's Xi Jinping and Russia's Putin on the fringes of the annual event and will travel to South Korea while in the region to meet President Moon Jae-in.
Trump is set to acknowledge the tense relations with North Korea while he is in Japan at his Memorial Day address, the president's oldest assistant indicated.
The official said that Trump would talk about the alliance's importance in deterring aggression in the region in what appeared to be a reference to the recent Pyongyang rocket test.
Abe and Trump have only reserved a small window for trading during Trump's five-day trip to Japan. Their chance to play golf on Sunday, the first full day of the US president in Tokyo, and the following evening, Abe will receive the president and the first lady at a black-tie dinner.
Trump visited only one state during his presidency in April last year when he received French president Emmanuel Macron. He has lost considerably on the extravagant events compared to his predecessors.
He has offered other unique experiences to world leaders that he wants to impress.
US President Donald Trump (C, L) and first lady Melania Trump arrive on November 5, 2017 at the American Yokota Air Base on the outskirts of Tokyo during their first visit to Japan
It was also a state visit. They are seen here with Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko prior to their meeting in the Imperial Palace on November 6, 2017. Akhito has since renounced
The Japanese prime minister had made a hat for Trump during the visit that plays on his campaign slogan
Abe allowed Trump to help him feed his fish for a joint press conference at Akaska Palace
Abe visited Trump in Washington less than a month ago to celebrate a birthday for Melania Trump. He played golf with the American president before returning to Tokyo.
Trump organized a summit in the US and Japan for Abe last year at his Palm Beach resort. The leaders then also played golf together.
The senior official who informed the press on the Tokyo trip said the frequency of Trumps contact with Abe & # 39; is really symbolic of how close the relationship is & # 39; between the two leaders.
& # 39; That is absolutely unprecedented in terms of the frequency and content of all their interactions & # 39 ;, the official emphasized.
According to the White House census, they have spoken more than 40 times since the Trump election in November 2016. Abe was the first leader in the world to meet Trump after winning the competition and flying to New York to give him a golden golf driver to propose.
Abe & # 39; s grand gesture impressed Trump, who called it during his state dinner toast on his last trip to Japan.
& # 39; He really brought me the most beautiful golf club I have ever seen. It was a driver that is completely gold, & he said. & # 39; It is the most beautiful weapon I have ever seen. & # 39;
Washington College Professor and & # 39; Japan & # 39; s Security Renaissance & # 39; author Andrew Oros credits the gift and the cross-border enterprise with the close relationship of Abe and Trump.
& # 39; The early reach of Prime Minster Abe was hugely successful, & # 39; he said.
Oros said a trade fight with Japan is usually & # 39; postponed & # 39; while Trump, despite a $ 67.6 billion deficit, is chasing China.
& # 39; It's just sort of simmering, & # 39; said Oros about the imbalance Trump has complained about between Japan and the United States.
Oros said that this was exactly the way the Japanese had planned it. & # 39; Japan would be happy if these trade negotiations simply disappeared & # 39 ;, he told DailyMail.com.
He said about the opportunity for trade negotiations in Tokyo: & # 39; Nobody thinks there will be serious discussions. & # 39;
Abe will fill Trump's time with cultural activities such as the sumo tournament, where the leaders take a seat on seats that are brought to Ryogoku Kokugikan especially for Trump.
Sumo viewers with seats on the floor near the garbage ring usually enjoy the martial art that only men can encounter on Japanese mattresses. But Trump and Abe will be in seats during the event, News Post Seven reported.
The American president is also expected to present the winner of the 15-day competition with a huge cup.
The accommodations bear witness to Abe's commitment to remain in the favor of the US president, who can gather an army of social media users and move markets with his Twitter account in an instant.
Abe lured Trump back to Japan with an invitation to meet Emperor Naruhito for another world leader.
& # 39; And I said, "Gosh, I don't know if I can make it. Let me ask you a question: how big is that event compared to the Superbowl for the Japanese?", Trump remembers during Abe & # 39 ; s most recent visit to the White House. & # 39; And the prime minister said, "It's about 100 times bigger." I said, "I'll be there. If that's the case, I'll be there. & # 39; & # 39;
Naruhito will not be formally put on the throne until October, but the offer to meet him for a month in his government was enough to summon Trump.
& # 39; Isn't it strange that years have happened? It's a very unusual – it's something very unusual, & Trump told Abe in April about Akhito & # 39; s throne. & # 39; And you are talking about governing by blood for more than 3000 years – the longest in the world. So it's a very, very big event. & # 39;
EMPEROR NARUHITO AND THE ROYAL FAMILY
Emperor Naruhito ascended to the Chrysanthemum Throne on 1 May 2019 after his father, Akihito, resigned and retired.
The rulers have traditionally held the throne until their death, but Akihito stepped down to make room for the reign of his 59-year-old son.
Naruhito & # 39; s government will be formally known as the & # 39; Reiwa & # 39; age, and he will be called the Reiwa emperor as he passes.
He is the 126th monarch of Japan.
The Japanese emperor was once the head of the government and of state affairs. Since the end of the Second World War the position has been ceremonial.
A prime minister, currently Shinzo Abe, leads the country's affairs.
Naruhito studied in Oxford and speaks English. He plays both golf and tennis.
He is married to Empress Masako, who briefly lived in New York as a girl and went to high school in a suburb of Boston.
She earned her degree in economics from Radcliffe College, which later merged with Harvard. She also went to study in Oxford.
Naruhito and Masako have one child: Princess Aiko, who according to Japanese law is not eligible to climb the throne.
Another man in the bloodline, Hisahito, is the next in line to lead the monarchy.
Abe told him it was 200 years ago that a living Japanese emperor resigned.
& # 39; Well, that's really nice. And that is an honor on behalf of our country, not just the First Lady and myself. So we really feel like & # 39 ;, Trump replied. & # 39; And I think we might go to a sumo wrestle, in a slightly lighter tone. I've always found that fascinating. & # 39;
He said: So we actually made a trophy in this country. We are going to give the trophy to the winner of the championship. So that must be good. & # 39;
Jim Schoff, a senior fellow at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, noted the comments and said the visit is a missed opportunity for the US president.
& # 39; I don't feel that Trump is responding to this with a strategy of what he wants to get out of it, he is actually just going for the trip. There is no real political advantage for him. & # 39;
Schiff said that Abe & # 39; is desperate to & # 39; avoid an in-depth conversation about trade, and Trump plays straight into it. & # 39; We can have much more content here, and unfortunately I don't expect much to come out. & # 39;
Regarding the press call prior to the president's visit, the US official who looked ahead of the trip said that characterization of the trip was substantively inaccurate.
& # 39; I do not want to give the impression that it will not be substantive. It will deal with a fairly wide range of topics in the relationship. There will be some important things to announce. So there will be a ceremony, but there will also be substance in this visit, & the referee insisted.
Washington & # 39; s Oros said that Trump's journey alone provides a valuable insight into his relationship with Abe and the proximity of the US and Japan.
& # 39; If Japan wasn't as important to the United States as it is, he would just meet Abe, & # 39; Oros told DailyMail.com. & # 39; This is partly because President Trump and his advisors really understand that the alliance with Japan is a crucial pivot in relations with China.
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