U.S. President Donald Trump met Japan’s new Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako on Monday in the ceremonial highlight of a state visit overshadowed by trade tensions between the two allies, Trend reports citing Reuters.
Trump, a fan of pomp and circumstance, was greeted by the new emperor and his Harvard-educated wife at the imperial palace in Tokyo in a formal welcome ceremony broadcast live on national television.
He became the first foreign dignitary to be received by the monarch since inheriting the throne this month after his father, Akihito, stepped down in the first abdication by a Japanese emperor in two centuries.
Trump gave a slight bow and he and First Lady Melania Trump shook hands with the imperial pair before entering the palace, to be met by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife, Akie, among others.
The president and emperor and their wives returned outside to walk a red carpet and stand under a hot sun while a military band played the national anthems of both countries.
Trump then walked the red carpet again, waving at assembled school children and inspecting Japanese troops before standing solemnly on a raised platform as a military band played a formal salute of honor.
Trump has made clear he was pleased to have been given the honor of the first reception with the emperor, who is treating him and his wife to a lavish state dinner later on Monday.
“It’s over 200 years since something like this has happened. So it’s a great honor to be representing the United States,” Trump said at a dinner with Abe and the leaders’ wives on Sunday.