During his U.S. visit that kicks off this week, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is scheduled to play a round of golf with President Donald Trump, a match-up he hopes will build closer personal ties.

Abe's Washington tour this time around, scheduled for Feb. 9-13, is rather unusual, as three key ministers — Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and trade minister Hiroshige Seko — are accompanying the prime minister and will possibly meet up with their U.S. counterparts.

The plan underlines Abe's determination to build a closer relationship with the Trump administration despite repeated bashing of Japan as an unfair trade partner by the U.S. president and heated criticism of by other world leaders over the U.S. immigration crackdown.