Among the modern crop of global leaders, US President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have something of a completely unique relationship.
The pair are normal golfing pals and Mr. Abe has not ignored any opportunity to engage with Mr. Trump: they’ve had more than forty conversations – in telephone and in man or woman – at some stage in the Trump presidency.
The US president has said Mr. Abe nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize – a claim that Tokyo neither confirmed nor denied.
Mr. Abe changed into in turn praised by using Mr. Trump for their “very, superb chemistry” and his “strong hands” after an oddly long handshake in the White House in 2017.
As they meet all over again this weekend in Tokyo, Mr. Abe is pulling out all the stops to woo Japan’s closest best friend.
Out on the town
During the three-day go to, Mr. Abe will take his US counterpart for a barbecue dinner at a neighborhood eating place.
It’s consistent with the subculture of Japanese leaders taking US presidents out to pattern nearby delicacies. Casual dining is often used as a way to interrupt down the inflexible and formalized routines in Japanese commercial enterprise negotiations.
So what is at the menu for Mr. Trump? Robatayaki – food prepared on a conventional Japanese charcoal grill.
“Going to a robatayaki restaurant is a totally visible enjoy, it has a theatrical point to it,” Tokyo-based totally meals journalist Phoebe Amoroso explains.
“There’s seasonal vegetables and seafood all laid out for you. You select what you want to eat after which it is prepared for you in this charcoal grill. It’s pretty an overall performance and visually very hanging.”
It’s an idea the 2 will head to Tokyo’s Roppongi nightlife district for his or her dinner – with their better halves and a significant entourage in tow.
While Donald Trump’s love for US speedy meals and steaks is well known, it is no longer the first time that Mr. Abe has handled him to Japanese cuisine. Though grilled meat appears to be a recurrent subject.
In 2017, the two had teppanyaki in a nearby restaurant, it’s a steak dinner grilled on an iron plate.
“Going to a neighborhood restaurant indicates a chunk extra of Japan and its subculture,” Ms. Amoroso says. “And there may be a large experience of satisfaction over this.
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“Japanese cuisine may be very lots visible as representing Japanese lifestyle and there’s a feeling that Japanese meals are a manner to promote Japan to the arena.”
While Mr. Abe is setting on steak and barbeque for Mr. Trump, it turned into sushi for Barack Obama in 2014.
There’s been speculation over whether he sincerely finished the dishes with the aid of movie star chef Sukiyabashi Jiro, however, he allegedly instructed Mr. Abe it changed into the nice sushi he’d ever had.
Way lower back in 2002, then-Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi took President George W Bush out to an izakaya, essentially a Japanese pub for informal after-paintings drinking and meals.
An audience with the emperor
Mr. Trump’s visit will of route be approximately extra than just meals and golf.
The US president may also be the first overseas chief to meet Japan’s new Emperor Naruhito, who only ascended to the throne in advance this month. And Mr. Trump could be very satisfied to have that honor.
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“It’s a very massive aspect taking place with the emperor,” he informed journalists on Thursday on the White House. “It’s something that hasn’t happened in over 200 years. I am the guest, that means the United States is the guest, but Prime Minister Abe stated to me very specifically, ‘You are the visitor of honor. There’s only one guest of honor. You are the visitor of honor.'”