Tokyo: President Donald Trump on Monday became the first world leader to met Japan’s Emperor Naruhito since the latter ascended the throne on May 1. After the meeting, Trump walked the red carpet of the Imperial Palace’s courtyard to review troops. The US President, who is a four-day state visit to Japan, has been invited to a welcome ceremony in Japan.

The state visit to Japan which follows the enthronement of Crown Prince Naruhito on May 1, is intended to showcase the closeness of the two countries’ ties, stated a report. The White House said in a statement on the night of April 18 that the visit “will deepen the close bonds between the American and Japanese people and will highlight the continued importance of our alliance and partnership”.

Trump was accompanied by his wife, first lady Melania Trump. Their formal visit was marked by handshakes and wishes to Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako of Japan.

Later on, Trump is scheduled to attend meetings at the Japanese state guest house. He is the guest of honour at an imperial banquet at the palace. The banquet is hosted by the new emperor. After a brief working lunch, Trump will join the joint news conference which will be attended by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Notably, Emperor Naruhito of Japan on May 1 formally ascended the Chrysanthemum Throne in a 10-minute ritual, a day after his father abdicated from the world’s oldest monarchy. Naruhito became Japan’s new emperor at the stroke of midnight ushering in a new imperial era of Reiwa, meaning “beautiful harmony”, which will last throughout Naruhito’s reign.

(With agency inputs)