On Monday, President Donald Trump made history when he arrived in Tokyo for his state visit. He became the first leader of a foreign country to meet the new emperor.
President Donald Trump, 72, and First Lady Melania Trump, 49, made history this week when they met with Japan’s Emperor Naruhito, 59, and Empress Masako, 55. They were the first foreign leaders to visit Naruhito since he ascended to the throne on May 1.
In the morning, the Trumps arrived by car and were greeted by the imperial couple outside their palace in Tokyo. The two couples shook hands politely before going inside.
According to reports, their meeting inside the palace lasted for about 15 minutes. The couples also exchanged gifts with each other while the Trumps were on their four-day visit.
The US president presented the emperor with a 1938 viola which was handmade in West Virginia. According to the Japan Times, the gift was quite fitting as the emperor is a viola player.
Donald also gave Naruhito a signed photo of American composer Aaron Copland. The US president presented the emperor with a signed photo of himself according to custom when state guests visit the emperor and empress.
The US first lady gifted Masako a custom-made White House desk set which included a pen made from a live red oak at Harvard University. Harvard is the college where the empress was once an economics student.
In return, the emperor and empress presented the US president with a traditional pottery and porcelain bowl. The first lady was gifted an ornamental lacquer box.
The presidential couple also received signed photos of the emperor and his wife. In the evening, the imperial couple hosted a black-tie event for the Trumps.
The six-course banquet was also attended by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other dignitaries which included the American ambassador. Around 200 people were said to have been invited to the event.
The US president gave a brief toast at the dinner stating that he and his wife were “profoundly honored to return to Japan as your nation’s first state guests following the enthronement of his majesty the emperor.” He continued: “We thank the people of Japan for their incredible hospitality and warm welcome in this majestic land.”
While quoting from Japanese poetry he celebrated the “treasured alliance” between Japan and America. Abe was the one who chose the Trumps to become the first state guests of the new Reiwa Era.
This era began when Emperor Akihito abdicated becoming the first Japanese monarch to step down in 202 years.
For the banquet, Melania wore a $4,490 pale pink J. Mendel caftan gown with silver feather embroidery. She kept warm by wearing a complementary cape that she draped over her shoulders.
The first lady accessorized with a pair of diamond stud earrings and silver heels that matched the embroidery on her gown.