Mobara, Japan — President Trump presented a special Trump trophy to the winner of a sumo tournament in Tokyo on Sunday as he got a taste of one of Japan’s most treasured cultural institutions.
Trump awards “President’s Cup” at prestigious sumo tournament in Japan
The honor given to Mr. Trump was part of a charm offensive Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe continued Sunday as he courted the president with three things close to his heart: wrestling matches, cheeseburgers and golf.Call it sumo diplomacy.
The president, first lady Melania Trump, Abe and his wife, Akie, joined an estimated 11,500 fans who packed Ryogoku Kokugikan Stadium to watch oversized, muscular men battling in loincloths.At the end, Mr. Trump stepped into the ring and presented the eagle-topped “President’s Cup” to champion wrestler Asanoyama, making him the first American president to participate. Shoes aren’t permitted in the sumo ring, but Mr. Trump wore dark-colored slippers.”That was something to see these great athletes,” Mr. Trump said before dinner at a Hibachi restaurant.Mr. Trump’s four-day state visit to Japan is designed to demonstrate the strength of the bond between the nations. The president received a warm welcome as he arrived at Mobara Country Club, south of Tokyo, for a steamy morning round of golf with the Japanese leader. It was their fifth golf outing.Abe is pulling out all the stops as he seeks to placate Mr. Trump amid growing U.S.-Japan trade tensions and the threat of auto tariffs. Japan is also contending with the continued threat of North Korea and Mr. Trump’s apparent dismissal of Pyongyang’s recent tests of short-range missiles that could reach Japan.But minus several antagonistic tweets, Sunday was all about bromance and keeping Mr. Trump happy.First it was the golf course, where Mr. Trump and Abe played 16 holes, joined by Japanese professional golfer Isao Aoki. Aoki, who is famous for his putting technique, was expected to present Mr. Trump with a putter he designed.On the lunch menu: Double cheeseburgers made with U.S. beef.