Donald Trump becomes first leader to meet Japan's Emperor Naruhito

He also opened bilateral talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and discussed the rising tensions between the Us and Iran

President Donald Trump toasts with Japanese Emperor Naruhito during a State Banquet at the Imperial Palace, Monday, May 27, 2019, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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President Donald Trump became the first world leader to meet Japan's newly ascended Emperor Naruhito on Monday as he continues his four-day state visit to the island country.

The president and his wife, first lady Melania Trump, met Emperor Naruhito, who formally ascended to the Chrysanthemum Throne on May 1, and Empress Masako at Tokyo's Imperial Palace.

Mr Trump was treated to a welcome ceremony full of pomp and pageantry, with a red carpet rolled out for him, while he was wearing a matching red tie, Associated Press reported.

He later met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who said the two "understand each other very well" as they opened bilateral talks at Akasaka Palace.

They discussed Iran amid rising tension between Tehran and Washington, with Japanese media reporting that Mr Abe is considering a visit to the Middle Eastern country next month.

"Nobody wants to see terrible things happen, especially me," Trump said. "I do believe Iran would like to talk and if they'd like to talk, we'll talk also."

Speaking about the short-range missile tests North Korea conducted earlier this month, Mr Trump said he is not "personally" bothered by them.

US National Security Adviser John Bolton said on Saturday that North Korea's recent missile launches violated a United Nations Security Council resolution.

North Korea's Kim Jong Un recently criticised Joe Biden, the former vice president who is seeking to challenge Mr Trump in next year's election, as having a low IQ. When asked about Mr Biden during a press conference in Japan, Mr Trump said he was "not a fan."

"Kim Jong Un made a statement that Joe Biden is a low-IQ individual," he said. "I probably agree with him on that."

Mr Trump also praised Mr Kim, saying that he is a "smart man" who might have launched the missiles earlier this month to "get attention".

"All I know is there have been no nuclear tests, no ballistic missiles going out, no long-range missiles going out and I think that someday we'll have a deal," Trump said, adding that there is "no rush."

On Sunday, Mr Abe and his wife Akie Abe hosted the Trumps for an intimate and informal dinner at Inakaya restaurant. The hibachi restaurant serves barbecue dishes with food prepared over a hot open grill.

On the menu was Japanese baked potato with butter, followed by salad and a course of grilled chicken. Wagyu beef steak served with broccoli and carrots was followed by vanilla ice cream for dessert.

A banquet was also hosted in the Trump's honour on Monday evening by Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako.