National

Japan on high alert for terrorism and drones ahead of Trump's four-day visit

JIJI, Kyodo

The government is making full-fledged preparations to receive U.S. President Donald Trump as a state guest from Saturday and security personnel in the Tokyo metropolitan area are on high alert for any possible terrorist attacks and other emergencies.

A ban has been issued for drone flights over locations to be visited by Trump during his four-day stay in Japan and the number of police officers deployed at airports and on busy streets will be increased.

Trump and his wife, Melania, are scheduled to arrive in Tokyo on Saturday afternoon as the first state guests since the Reiwa Era started May 1, when Emperor Naruhito ascended to the Chrysanthemum Throne.

The U.S. president and first lady will stay at Palace Hotel Tokyo, near the Imperial Palace in Chiyoda Ward. Trump will be the first U.S. president to visit Japan as a state guest since Barack Obama came to the country for a three-day stay in April 2014.

“It’s important to thoroughly demonstrate Japan’s close ties with the United States, in light of relations with China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia,” a senior official of the Foreign Ministry said.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is scheduled to play golf with Trump for the fifth time, at Mobara Country Club in Mobara, Chiba Prefecture. Professional golfer Isao Aoki is expected to join them.

Trump is set to watch final-day matches of the ongoing Summer Grand Sumo Tournament at the Ryogoku Kokugikan arena in Tokyo on Sunday afternoon, before attending an informal dinner party with Abe and his wife, Akie, at a robatayaki (Japanese-style grill) restaurant in the Roppongi district of Tokyo later in the day.

Small casual dinners have been a go-to formula for Japanese prime ministers when entertaining U.S. leaders in a bid to foster close relations.

Abe took Trump to a teppanyaki steak dinner in 2017 and Obama was entertained at the renowned sushi restaurant Sukiyabashi Jiro in 2014.

In 2002, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi took visiting U.S. President George W. Bush to an izakaya (Japanese-style pub) during his visit.

Abe and Trump will hold official summit talks at the State Guesthouse, Akasaka Palace in Tokyo from Monday morning. The two leaders are set to hold a joint news conference on Monday afternoon.

Also on Monday, Trump will meet with Emperor Naruhito at the Imperial Palace and attend an imperial banquet.

On Tuesday, Abe and Trump will board and inspect the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s Izumo-class helicopter carrier Kaga at the Yokosuka base in Kanagawa Prefecture.

The two Izumo-class helicopter carriers are slated to be remodeled into de facto aircraft carriers to host U.S.-made F-35B stealth fighters.

Through Trump’s visit to Japan, Abe wants to further deepen his relationship with the U.S. leader and show off the strong Japan-U.S. alliance to the world, informed sources said.

Meanwhile, Abe and Trump are unlikely to issue a joint statement after the bilateral summit as the Japanese side apparently hopes to avoid detailed talks on trade, according to the sources.

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