Trump becomes first foreign leader to meet Japan’s new emperor

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President Donald Trump on Monday became the first foreign leader to meet with Japan’s newly enthroned Emperor Naruhito — an honour Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hopes will help charm the US president when it comes to thorny trade talks.

At the White House last week, Trump noted the significance of his meeting with the emperor. Naruhito took the throne after his father stepped down, the first abdication in Japan’s royal family in about two centuries.

“It’s a very big thing going on with the emperor. It’s something that hasn’t happened in over 200 years,” Trump said. “I am the guest, meaning the United States is the guest.”

Trump stressed that Abe “very specifically” said Trump is the guest of honor.

“With all the countries of the world, I’m the guest of honor at the biggest event that they’ve had in over 200 years,” Trump said.

After leaving the Imperial Palace, Trump went to the Akasaka Palace, the Japanese state guest house with lush manicured grounds, for meetings, a working lunch and joint news conference with Abe.

The president also will be the guest of honor at an imperial banquet at the palace hosted by the emperor.

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