Trump set to visit Japan to honor new Emperor

Japanese and U.S. officials hail as "unprecedented" the relationship between Trump and his "golf buddy" Abe, and the pair are scheduled to again find time for a round to burnish their diplomatic bromance.

Finally, after a full day of matches, perhaps the biggest star of all - weighing 110kg, according to his most recent physical - climbed into the sumo ring.

The Japan Sumo Association instituted some safety precautions due to Trump's participation, including selling fewer same-day tickets and banning the ritual of throwing seat cushions as an expression of disappointment.

"Right now, I don't think Iran wants to fight, and I certainly don't think they want to fight with us", Mr. Trump said before departing for his trip. "So, in fact, we're having a trophy made in this country". Trump will also present the victor of Tokyo's spring sumo wrestling tournament a trophy after taking in a few rounds from ringside seats, an engagement that White House officials say he's been anticipating eagerly.

The Japan NewsOn Sunday afternoon, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump attended the final day of the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament at the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo. Trump sponsored major events, appeared in bits and was inducted into the World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Fame in 2013.

Both those topics will be featured in Trump's talks with Abe this weekend.

Japan is considered to be one of America's most important allies, for security and economic reasons, and Mr Trump has sought to strengthen the relationship, making regular diplomatic trips to meet Mr Abe.

Abe and Trump began the first day of a largely policy-free four days with a round of golf just outside Tokyo, close to the epicentre of a strong natural disaster that shook the capital about an hour before Trump's arrival on Saturday afternoon.

On Monday, the serious diplomacy begins, with Trump set to be the first foreign leader to meet Japan's new emperor, Naruhito, who ascended the Chrysanthemum Throne at the beginning of the month after his father's abdication, the first in more than 200 years.

"In the world of Donald Trump, bad things can happen if you're an ally, but no major blows have landed on Japan", said Michael Green, senior vice-president for Asia and Japan chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Last week, Trump made a decision to delay new auto tariffs as his administration negotiates bilateral trade agreements with Japan and Europe - but only for six months, a tight deadline for the two sides to reach an agreement that suits him. "In terms of violating U.N. Security Council resolutions, there's no doubt about that". Japan loves the game.

"We were able to exchange our views frankly in a cozy atmosphere".

The first lady and her companion, Mrs. Akie Abe, did not speak to reporters, either.

Idehara said "that means he has an understanding of Japanese culture and I'm happy to know that".

On Monday, they are set to have bilateral talks that are likely to focus on trade, as Donald Trump has earlier complained about the growing trade deficit with Japan and barriers to U.S. exports.

Trump has been seeking a bilateral trade agreement with Tokyo since he pulled the USA out of the multinational Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement two years ago, though analysts expect no breakthroughs during Trump's visit.

The visit come as Japan scrambles to strengthen bilateral relations with the United States in a bid to avoid USA imposed trade tariffs on Japanese cars and auto parts. Agriculture and beef heavily in play.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer held talks with his Japanese counterpart, Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi on the sidelines of the visit.

Trump has threatened Japan with new tariffs on imports of autos and auto parts, citing national security grounds.

In April, Japan's trade surplus surged nearly 18 percent to $6.6bn.


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