President Donald Trump returns from his state visit to Japan Tuesday, having achieved little in terms of policy but building on his personal relationship with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The Japanese rolled out the red carpet for the president, treating him to a sumo match, a state dinner, and of course, a round of golf. The festivities were matched with intense bilateral meetings about trade between the two countries and the North Korea threat.
We’ve compiled a rundown of the president’s trip.
President Donald Trump arrived in Japan Saturday and was quickly ushered to an ambassador’s meeting with Japanese business leaders.
Trump expressed optimism that the two countries would be able to work out a trade deal and said that America’s relationship with Japan has “never been stronger.”
“The relationship with Japan and the United States, I can say for a fact, has never been stronger, never been more powerful, never been closer,” the president said to kick off the trip. “This is a very exciting time for commerce between the two countries that we both love.”
The president awoke Sunday to attend a golf outing with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Chiba, Japan.
The two leaders previously golfed together during Abe’s visit to the White House in April.
While Trump golfed with Abe, First Lady Melania Trump participated in a tour of a digital art museum with Akie Abe, the prime minister’s wife.
After the tour, Melania hosted a “Be Best” event for Japanese children, who waited in line to receive autographs from the first lady. The first lady gifted the children with “Be Best” drawstring bags that were filled with school supplies.
Sumo Wrestling Match
The president and first lady attended a sumo wrestling cultural program at Ryōgoku Kokugikan Stadium in Tokyo, Japan on Sunday evening.
Trump presented the newly created President’s Cup, a 54 inch tall and 60-70 pound trophy, to the Sumo Grand Champion. (RELATED: President And First Lady Take In Traditional Sumo Match In Japan)
He is the first American president to present a customized trophy to the sumo winner.
“In honor of your outstanding achievement as sumo grand champion, I hereby award you the President’s Cup,” POTUS said.
After the sumo match, the Abe’s and the Trump’s headed to a hibachi restaurant to have dinner. The couples dined on Japanese potato, grilled chicken, wagyu beef steak, salad, and ice cream.
Trump and Melania became the first foreign leaders on Monday to visit with Naruhito, the new Japanese emperor, and Masako, the empress. The first couple visited with them at the Imperial Palace, where they participated in a lavish welcome ceremony that featured the U.S. and Japanese national anthems.
The two couples exchanged gifts during a state call following the welcome ceremony.
The gifts, according to the White House:
“The President presented the Emperor an American-made viola in a custom case and a signed photo of American composer Aaron Copland. This vintage 1938 viola was handmade in Charleston, West Virginia. The President also presented the Emperor with a signed and framed photo of the President.
The First Lady presented the Empress with a custom White House desk set featuring a pen made of Harvard tree wood. The Empress herself studied Economics at Harvard. This fountain pen was handcrafted from a red oak tree that still stands in Old Harvard Yard. The First Lady also presented the Empress with a signed and framed photo of the First Lady.
The Emperor presented the President with a traditional Japanese pottery and porcelain bowl as well as a signed and framed photo of His Majesty the Emperor.
The Empress presented the First Lady with an ornamental Japanese lacquer box with traditional design as well as a framed and signed photo of Her Majesty the Empress.”
Meetings with Abe
Trump met with PM Abe for bilateral meetings and a working lunch to discuss a series of policy issues, including trade and North Korea.
“A lot of very positive things are happening on trade. I personally think that lots of good things will come with North Korea, I feel that. I may be right, I may be wrong, but I feel that,” Trump told reporters at the top of the bilateral. “Trade-wise, I think we’ll be announcing some things probably in August. We have to do a little catching up with Japan. They’ve been doing much more business with us we’d like to do a little business in the reverse.”
“We’ll get the balance of trade straightened out rapidly,” he added.
The president differed from Abe on the North Korea threat, brushing off concerns about recent missiles tests, while Abe said they were “extremely regrettable.”
FLOTUS Cultural Program
Melania broke off from Trump again during the bilateral meetings to participate in a cultural event with Akie Abe at Akasaka Palace. The first lady met with the founder of Shine On! Kids, a nonprofit for sick children, and then watched a flute performance by master flutist Yosuke Irie.
A flower arrangement demonstration followed the flute performance, along with a children’s dance. The two ladies then visited the koi pond in the palace.
Meeting with families of North Korean abductees
After the bilateral meetings and cultural event, Trump and Melania and Abe and Akie paired up again to meet with the Japanese families of individuals abducted by the North Korean regime. Trump and Abe pledged to work together to bring the family members home, and the president noted that this was his second meeting with the families.
Trump and Melania returned to the Imperial Palace for a state dinner hosted by Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako. The couples sported gala attire, with the president in a tuxedo and Melania in a long white gown, and dined on a six-course meal. (RELATED: Melania Stuns In Gorgeous Floor-Length White Gown At State Banquet In Tokyo)
An orchestra played the Star Spangled Banner and Trump gave a toast to the dinner guests, stating that he was “profoundly honored” to be present at the event.
JS Kaga/USS Wasp
The president and PM Abe stopped at a Japanese military ship, the JS Kaga, to tout the alliance between the two countries and praise the Japanese and American troops.
“We had a tremendous couple of days with the prime minister. He’s a great gentleman. He’s a great leader, and I just want to say that our first lady and I are very honored to be here today on the JS Kaga. It’s a great ship. You love this ship? You all love this ship? … I feel very safe,” Trump said.
Trump then headed to the USS Wasp to give a Memorial Day address to American troops. Several U.S. troops had patches that said “Make Aircrew Great Again” and featured a cartoon that resembled President Trump.
“I have to wish you all a very Happy Memorial Day,” the president told the troops, commending their bravery and noting that soldiers leave home knowing they may never come back.
Trump and First Lady Melania will arrive back at the White House after the eventful trip on Tuesday afternoon.