President Donald Trump presented a special U.S.-made trophy to the winner of a sumo tournament Sunday as he got a taste of one of Japan’s most treasured cultural institutions. The honor given to Trump was part of a charm offensive by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as he courted Trump with three things close to the American leader’s heart: wrestling, cheeseburgers and golf. Sumo diplomacy, to sum it up. The president, first lady Melania Trump, Abe and his wife, Akie, joined an estimated 11,500 fans at Ryogoku Kokugikan Stadium to watch massive and muscular men, in bare feet and loin cloths, battle for supremacy in a small ring of dirt. At the match’s end, Trump stepped into the ring and presented the eagle-topped “President’s Cup” to the champion, Asanoyama. Trump, the first American president to participate in such a ceremony, said later it was an “incredible evening.” “That was something to see these great athletes,” Trump said before having dinner with the Abes at a hibachi restaurant. Trump’s four-day state visit to Japan is designed to demonstrate the strength of the U.S.-Japan alliance. Earlier Sunday, Abe warmly welcomed Trump to Mobara Country Club, south of Tokyo, for a round of golf, their fifth since Trump became president. Abe is trying to placate Trump amid growing U.S.-Japan trade tensions and the threat of auto tariffs. Japan also is contending with the continued military threat from North Korea , a concern seemingly heightened by Trump’s apparent dismissal of the North’s recent tests
When Crown Prince Naruhito on Wednesday becomes, by official Japanese count, the 126th person to occupy the Chrysanthemum Throne since 660 B.C., he will be ceremonially armed with the glittering, ancient imperial regalia of sword and jewel.
Beyond the material trappings that accompany what the Japanese claim to be the world's oldest continuous hereditary monarchy, however, the new emperor will also receive a much more important, though less dazzling, inheritance: The deep and abiding respect his father — Akihito, who was abdicating as emperor on Tuesday — has accumulated over his three-decade reign.
Replicating this bequest on his own will be Naruhito's greatest challenge.
“Given that military organizations always need to assume the worst possible situation, it is natural for the two countries to work on this kind of plan against China,” said Bonji Ohara, a former naval attache at the Japanese Embassy in Beijing who is now a senior fellow at Sasakawa Peace Foundation, a Japanese think tank.
The bicultural, newly elected Governor Denny Tamaki of the southern Japanese island of Okinawa plans to visit the United States with a message to the American people: Stop building a disputed military base and build peace instead.
“The people of Okinawa have opposed this new base for more than two decades and so there is a basic mistake in Henoko” because the democratic process is being ignored. We believe the Japanese government should assert that view to the American government, not keep insisting that Henoko is the only solution.”
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed to bolster cooperation and friendship between Japan and China in a key policy speech Wednesday before making the first official trip to Beijing by a Japanese leader in seven years.
Abe said. “As we unflaggingly exchange summit diplomacy, I will also deepen the exchanges between the two peoples in all levels of activities from business cooperation to sports.”
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was re-elected as head of his ruling Liberal Democratic Party in a landslide Thursday, paving the way for up to three more years as the nation’s leader. Shinzo Abe said in a victory speech: “It’s time to tackle a constitutional revision. Now the fight is over. Let’s work together to make a new Japan.”