Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seems to know how to appeal to President Trump as he tries to ease trade tensions between Japan and the U.S. – including a threat of auto tariffs — and continue to receive U.S. support in dealing with North Korea.
On Sunday morning, Abe took Trump to a golf course, where the two leaders played 16 holes before heading to a lunch of cheeseburgers made with American beef.
On the links, Trump and Abe were joined by Japanese professional golfer Isao Aoki, known for his putting technique. Aoki was expected to present Trump with a putter he designed.
The outing seemed to go well, Abe told reporters.
“We were able to exchange our views frankly in a cozy atmosphere. It was wonderful,” Abe said as he returned to his official residence.
Abe tweeted a photo of himself and Trump, taken on the greens.
Trump tweeted that he’d had “Great fun and meeting with Prime Minister @AbeShinzo,” but also continued to stew about domestic politics, 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!”
The leaders then attended a sumo wrestling event in the evening, where Trump presented a large trophy to a tournament winner – in a first for a U.S. president.
On Monday, Trump will be the first foreign leader to meet with Japan’s new emperor, Naruhito, since he took the throne May 1.
Then Trump and Abe are expected to get down to business regarding trade matters before ending the state visit with Trump the guest of honor at a banquet hosted by the emperor.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.