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Trump watches sumo wrestling in Japan

U.S. President Donald Trump presents the President’s Cup to wrestler Asanoyama, the winner of the Summer season Grand Sumo Match at Ryogoku Kokigikan Sumo Corridor in Tokyo, Japan May 26, 2019.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

President Donald Trump introduced a particular U.S.-made trophy to the winner of a sumo match Sunday as he acquired a style of one in every of Japan’s most treasured cultural establishments.

The dignity given to Trump was a part of a appeal offensive by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as he courted Trump with three issues near the American chief’s coronary heart: wrestling, cheeseburgers and golf.

Sumo diplomacy, to sum it up.

The president, first girl Melania Trump, Abe and his spouse, Akie, joined an estimated 11,500 followers at Ryogoku Kokugikan Stadium to observe large and muscular males, in naked toes and loin cloths, battle for supremacy in a small ring of grime.

On the match’s finish, Trump stepped into the ring and introduced the eagle-topped “President’s Cup” to the champion, Asanoyama. Trump, the primary American president to take part in such a ceremony, stated later it was an “incredible evening.”

“That was something to see these great athletes,” Trump stated earlier than having dinner with the Abes at a hibachi restaurant.

Trump’s four-day state go to to Japan is designed to display the power of the U.S.-Japan alliance. Earlier Sunday, Abe warmly welcomed Trump to Mobara Nation Membership, south of Tokyo, for a spherical of golf, their fifth since Trump turned president.

U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to current the President’s Cup to wrestler Asanoyama, the winner of the Summer season Grand Sumo Match at Ryogoku Kokigikan Sumo Corridor in Tokyo, Japan May 26, 2019.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

Abe is making an attempt to placate Trump amid rising U.S.-Japan commerce tensions and the specter of auto tariffs. Japan is also contending with the continued navy risk from North Korea, a priority seemingly heightened by Trump’s obvious dismissal of the North’s current assessments of short-range missiles that might strike Japan.

Regardless of a number of antagonistic presidential tweets, the day was all about retaining Trump blissful.

First it was golf. Trump and Abe performed 16 holes, joined by Japanese professional Isao Aoki. On the lunch menu: Double cheeseburgers made with U.S. beef.

Then Abe launched Trump to Japan’s historical sport of sumo wrestling, which Trump has stated he finds “fascinating.”

Loud applause greeted Trump as he entered the world and took his seat a couple of rows behind the ring. It was a break from the customized of sitting cross-legged on a mat.

The Japan Sumo Affiliation instituted some security precautions as a result of Trump’s participation, together with promoting fewer same-day tickets and banning the ritual of throwing seat cushions as an expression of disappointment.

Trump sat along with his arms crossed over his chest for a lot of the time, and when the match ended, he walked onto the stage carrying darkish slippers — sneakers are banned from the ring — to current the cup to Asanoyama.

Trump learn from a scroll, praising Asanoyama’s “outstanding achievement.” He hoisted the hefty cup, which the White Home stated was 54 inches tall and weighed 60 to 70 kilos, into Asanoyama’s arms with the assistance of an official. Abe additionally introduced a trophy to Asanoyama, and the champion obtained a 3rd one sponsored by the emperor.

Trump had the trophy made for the sumo winner, and Japanese media informally known as it the “Trump Cup.”

U.S. President Donald Trump walks onto the raised ring for the award ceremony for Summer season Grand Sumo Match winner Asanoyama at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan.


Trump’s attendance on the annual sumo match recalled the time he spent selling the World Wrestling Federation in the US. Trump sponsored main occasions, appeared in bits and was inducted into the World Wrestling Leisure Corridor of Fame in 2013.

Trump awaited one other honor Monday when he was to turn out to be the primary overseas chief to satisfy with Japan’s new emperor, Naruhito, since he ascended to the throne on May 1. Trump and Abe deliberate extra formal talks and scheduled a joint information convention. Trump additionally was to be the visitor of honor at a banquet hosted by the emperor at Japan’s Imperial Palace.

“We’ve had a great time, a great day, and tomorrow is really the big event, a very important event in the history of Japan,” Trump stated simply earlier than having fun with a dinner of grilled hen, Wagyu beef and vanilla ice cream at a hibachi restaurant with Abe and their wives. “It’s over 200 years since something like this has happened, so it’s a great honor to be representing the United States.”

The Abe-Trump alliance started even earlier than Trump took workplace in January 2017, when Abe rushed to New York to greet the president-elect at Trump Tower after Trump’s election two months earlier. Japan is deeply depending on the U.S. for safety, and Abe has tried to encourage Trump to take care of worldwide agreements and maintain strain on North Korea.

Golf has been a bonding exercise for 2 leaders who love the sport.

“We were able to exchange our views frankly in a cozy atmosphere. It was wonderful,” Abe instructed reporters as he returned to his official residence from the nation membership. He tweeted a selfie photograph of him and Trump smiling extensively on the greens.

U.S. President Donald Trump sits on a cart as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe drives the cart as they play golf at Mobara Nation Membership in Mobara, Chiba prefecture, Japan.

Japan’s Cupboard Public Relations Workplace | Kyodo

Trump tweeted that he’d had “Great fun and meeting with Prime Minister @AbeShinzo.” However Trump continued to stew about politics again dwelling, claiming that “Numerous Japanese officials told me that the Democrats would rather see the United States fail than see me or the Republican Party succeed – Death Wish!”

Custom holds that American presidents and candidates keep away from politicking whereas on overseas soil, however Trump is just not one to abide by such norms. He additionally tweeted negatively about Democratic presidential rival Joe Biden, a former vice chairman.

Trump performed down North Korea’s current collection of short-range missile assessments and tried to decrease expectations that he and Abe will make important headway on commerce points at their Monday assembly.

Trump has sought a bilateral take care of Tokyo since he pulled the U.S. from the multinational Trans-Pacific Partnership commerce settlement two years in the past, although analysts count on no breakthroughs through the journey.

“Great progress being made in our Trade Negotiations with Japan. Agriculture and beef heavily in play. Much will wait until after their July elections where I anticipate big numbers!” he wrote, referring to Japan’s upcoming parliamentary elections.

Trump has threatened Japan with new tariffs on imports of autos and auto elements, citing nationwide safety grounds. He has instructed he’ll impose levies if the U.S. can’t win concessions from Japan and the European Union. In April, Japan’s commerce surplus surged nearly 18% to 723 billion yen, or $6.6 billion.

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