Trump says he'll be guest of honor at Japan's 'biggest event' in 'over 200 years'

President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump DOJ demanded metadata on 73 phone numbers and 36 email addresses, Apple says Putin says he's optimistic about working with Biden ahead of planned meeting Biden meets Queen Elizabeth for first time as president MORE on Thursday boasted that he will be the guest of honor at Japan's "biggest event" in "over 200 years" when he visits the country this weekend to meet with the prime minister and new emperor.

During an impromptu Q&A with reporters in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Trump was asked whether he believes he can work out a trade deal with Japan in the near future. The president did not answer, but played up the historic nature of his state visit.

“It’s a very big thing going on with the emperor," Trump said. "It’s something that hasn’t happened in over 200 years. I am the guest, meaning the United States is the guest, but Prime Minister Abe said to me very specifically, 'You are the guest of honor. There’s only one guest of honor. You are the guest of honor.'"


"With all the countries of the world I am 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 so we’re going to be spending two days over there."

The president will be the first foreign leader to make a state visit to Japan since the enthronement of the new emperor, Naruhito. The emperor's father became the first monarch to abdicate the throne in more than 200 years, with a ceremony taking place at the beginning of the month.

The role of emperor is largely ceremonial, but Naruhito's accession marks a cultural touchstone in Japan. Takehiro Shimada, minister of public affairs for the Japanese Embassy, said it was important the American president be the first state guest following the enthronement to underscore the importance of the U.S.-Japan relationship.

Policy, such as trade and negotiations with North Korea, will largely take a backseat during Trump's weekend trip. He will play golf with Abe, the two will attend a sumo match and the president will meet with the emperor for a banquet dinner.

Trump will return to Japan in late June when the country hosts the Group of 20 summit in Osaka.