Trump arrives in Japan to kick off 4-day state visit

Trump arrives in Japan to kick off 4-day state visit
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpUPS, FedEx shut down calls to handle mail-in ballots, warn of 'significant' problems: report Controversial GOP Georgia candidate attempts to distance from QAnon Trump orders TikTok parent company to sell US assets within 90 days MORE arrived in Tokyo on Saturday for his weekend trip to be the first state guest of Japan since the enthronement of its new emperor.

Trump's plane landed just before 5 p.m. local time at the Haneda Airport, with the president and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpRomney breaks with Trump's criticism of mail-in voting Pelosi calls Trump attacks on mail-in voting a 'domestic assault on our Constitution' Trump requests mail-in ballot for Florida congressional primary MORE greeted by multiple U.S. and Japanese officials on the tarmac, according to White House pool reports.

Japanese Foreign Affairs Minister Taro Kono and his wife, Kaori; U.S. Ambassador to Japan William Hagerty; Commander of U.S. Forces Japan Lt. Gen. Kevin Schneider; and other Japanese diplomatic officials were on hand for the arrival.


The president then headed to a reception with more than two dozen Japanese business leaders at the U.S. ambassador's residence. Acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyFauci says positive White House task force reports don't always match what he hears on the ground Bottom line White House, Senate GOP clash over testing funds MORE and U.S. Trade Representative Robert LighthizerRobert (Bob) Emmet LighthizerWhiskey, workers and friends caught in the trade dispute crossfire GOP senator warns quick vote on new NAFTA would be 'huge mistake' Pelosi casts doubt on USMCA deal in 2019 MORE were expected to be among those at the gathering Saturday evening.

"We walk off the plane and here we are along with probably 40 of the greatest business leaders in the world," Trump quipped during a short speech at the reception. "You really have some people who have just been incredible, incredible investors in our country."

Trump emphasized the economic bond between the U.S. and Japan, saying the relationship "has never been stronger" or "more powerful." However, he also argued that trade will be "a little bit more fair" after a bilateral deal is sealed.

"Japan has had a substantial edge for many, many years, but that’s OK. Maybe that’s why you like us so much," he said.

Trump is slated to play golf on Sunday morning with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe before attending a sumo tournament, a major part of Japanese culture. There, Trump is expected to offer a branded trophy to the champion. A senior White House official said Saturday that the trophy measures roughly 54 inches tall and weighs at least 60 pounds, calling it the "President's Cup."

The overseas trip, which falls over the Memorial Day weekend, gives Trump an opportunity to cast aside partisan wars in Washington for a few days. The visit will include a number of ceremonial moments, with less focus on substantive policy discussions, though trade and North Korea are expected to come up during a bilateral meeting.