President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump become the first guests of Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako at the Imperial Palace.
Following custom there are three components to the state visit: (1) The guest arrival and formal greeting by the Emperor and Empress. (2) The ceremonial anthems of both nations and the presentation of the imperial guard. (3) A “state call” or discussion of diplomatic matters between the Emperor, Empress and their honored guests.
During the official state call component there is an exchange of gifts. First, the arrival:
The ‘inside palace’ greeting and introduction was not covered by international media. However, due to the significance of the visit (first of imperial era of Reiwa) it was broadcast on local Japanese media as below:
For insight to the warmth of introduction by Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako this broadcast video is interesting:
Another Video of the International Feed:
After the welcome ceremony, the president and first lady made a ‘state call‘ on the emperor and empress.
The state call is held in an Imperial Palace room with no media presence (there was a singular, brief, video). The emperor and empress both speak fluent English (attended Oxford) and during the welcome ceremony they engaged with President Trump and First Lady Melania in English to enhance comfort. They are guests.
However, during the official ‘state call‘ the Emperor and Empress are representing the imperial nation-state of Japan. As such, formality dictates conversation in Japanese and the use of translators. After the brief segment where cameras are permitted, the host and guest exchange gifts from each nation.
[POOL] The President presented the Emperor an American-made viola in a custom case and a signed photo of American composer Aaron Copland. This vintage 1938 viola was handmade in Charleston, West Virginia. The President also presented the Emperor with a signed and framed photo of the President.
The First Lady presented the Empress with a custom White House desk set featuring a pen made of Harvard tree wood. The Empress herself studied Economics at Harvard. This fountain pen was handcrafted from a red oak tree that still stands in Old Harvard Yard. The First Lady also presented the Empress with a signed and framed photo of the First Lady.
The Emperor presented the President with a traditional Japanese pottery and porcelain bowl as well as a signed and framed photo of His Majesty the Emperor.
The Empress presented the First Lady with an ornamental Japanese lacquer box with traditional design as well as a framed and signed photo of Her Majesty the Empress.
[Note: It is long-standing custom of the Imperial Palace that their Majesties the Emperor and Empress exchange signed, framed photographs with their guests on the occasion of a State Visit.]
At the conclusion of the Imperial Palace visit, President Trump and First Lady Melania travel to Akasaka Palace for bilateral meetings with Prime Minister Abe.
At Akasaka Palace Melania Trump and Akie Abe will again meet, and likely go do something else, while their spouses talk business of state between the U.S. and Japan.
Later today the President and First Lady will return to the Imperial Palace for a very formal state banquet hosted by Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako.
The U.S. delegation will meet the top-tier of Japanese diplomacy and commerce over a formal dinner celebration.