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President Donald Trump made history on Monday at Japan’s Imperial Palace where he made history by becoming the first world leader to meet with the new emperor and empress of Japan.
The president and first lady Melania Trump began the formal visit with handshakes and a quiet greeting. Audio was strictly forbidden on the encounter but the president appeared to to thank Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako for their incredible hospitality.
‘How are you? Thank you very much,’ he mouthed as he approached the imperial couple. Melania Trump told the empress, ‘Nice to meet you.’ The two couples proceeded to speak in hushed tones in the Trumps’ native language.
Emperor Naruhito and his wife studied at Oxford and speak English. In a more formal setting several minutes later, the imperial family spoke to the U.S. president and first lady in Japanese, and the couples conversed through translators.
Melania wore a white Carolina Herrera dress with floral detailing and red stiletto pumps for the welcome ceremony.
The couples stood on a raised platform as the national anthems of both countries were played.
Trump then walked by himself down a red carpet and stood at attention atop another platform, listening to a military band.
He then continued down the red carpet to review Japanese troops while Naruito and both men’s wives held back.
Both Trump and Naruhito greeted a long line of officials in each other’s delegations before everyone went back inside the palace.
Trump’s next stop is Akasaka Palace, the Japanese state guest house, for meetings, a working lunch and joint news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who participated in the palace ceremony.
The president also will be the guest of honor at an imperial banquet at the palace hosted by the emperor.
The palace visit in the morning was the main event in a feel-good trip that started Saturday and has seen Abe and Trump playing golf, eating out, watching sumo and generally enjoying an all-Japanese weekend.
Dining with Abe and their wives at a typical Tokyo grill restaurant on Sunday, Trump said he “had a great time” and was looking forward to meeting Naruhito, who took the Chrysanthemum Throne only three weeks ago, after his father stepped down in the first abdication in two centuries.