President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, landed in Japan on Saturday on a largely ceremonial visit meant to showcase strong ties with Tokyo even as trade tensions loom, Reuters writes.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will treat Trump to an imperial banquet and front row seats at a sumo tournament during the trip, which lasts through Tuesday.
Trump and Abe share a warm relationship, which the Japanese leader aims to emphasize as Washington mulls tariffs on Japanese auto exports that the Trump administration views as a potential national security threat.
The United States is in the middle of an expensive trade war with China in protest against Beijing’s treatment of U.S. companies, and tensions with Japan and the European Union over trade are simmering, Reuters added.
Trump and Abe are expected to discuss trade during talks on Monday, but officials have played down the possibility of a deal during the visit.
Trump will become the first foreign leader to be received by new Japanese Emperor Naruhito since he inherited the throne earlier this month.
He made clear during an impromptu news conference on Thursday that he was flattered by the invitation.
“Prime Minister Abe said to me, very specifically, ‘You are the guest of honor.’ There’s only one guest of honor … I’m the guest of honor at the biggest event that they’ve had in over 200 years,” Trump said. “So it’s a great thing. And we get along very well with Japan. I get along very well with the Prime Minister.”
After his arrival, Trump was due to meet with business leaders before retiring.