U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to be invited to Japan for around three days from May 26, possibly making him the first foreign state guest to meet Crown Prince Naruhito after his planned accession to the throne, a Japanese government source said Monday.
The government is apparently seeking to demonstrate strong Japan-U.S. ties by receiving Trump as the first foreign head of state to be treated with utmost courtesy after the Imperial accession on May 1.
“The United States is the most important country for Japan. Mr. Trump is the most suitable (foreign guest) to meet the new Emperor first,” one of the sources said.
If realized, Trump would visit Japan twice in around a month, as he is also expected to attend the Group of 20 summit in Osaka in late June.
Crown Prince Naruhito, 58, will succeed to the Chrysanthemum Throne after Emperor Akihito, 85, abdicates on April 30 — the first living monarch to do so in about two centuries.
The U.S. president visited Japan as an official guest in November 2017, but would this time receive the higher honor of being treated as a state guest.
During the envisioned state trip, Trump is expected to meet Abe and brief him on the outcome of the second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, scheduled for Feb. 27 and 28 in Vietnam.
The U.S. and Japanese leaders are likely to reaffirm their cooperation in dealing with North Korea’s denuclearization and the abduction of Japanese nationals by North Korean agents in the 1970s and 1980s.
Trade is also likely to be on the agenda, as the two leaders agreed last September to launch negotiations for a bilateral pact.
Abe and Trump, both of whom are avid golfers, may also head to the fairways again, as they did on the sidelines of previous bilateral summits held in the United States and Japan.