Trump touched down in Japan and was welcomed by the country’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe early on Sunday, kicking off his 12-day Asian trip, likely to be dominated by the North Korean issue, presstv.com reported.
Shortly after arrival, Trump addressed US troops at the Yokota Air Base outside the Japanese capital of Tokyo and hailed his host Japan as “a treasured partner and crucial ally of the US.”
The US president claimed that Washington and its allies were prepared to maintain peace and defend freedom, threatening, however, that, “No one, no dictator, no regime... should underestimate American resolve.”
Trump and Abe were scheduled to meet for lunch before playing golf.
En route to Japan, Trump had stopped in the US state of Hawaii to pay a visit to the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, which was the scene of a 1941 Japanese attack that triggered the United States’ entrance into World War Two.
On his five-nation Asia tour, the US president will also visit South Korea, China, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
Before arriving in Japan, Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One that much of his discussions with Asian leaders would revolve around trade and North Korea.
“One of the things we’re going to be very focused on is trade because trade has not been done well for 25 years by the United States with this part of the world, with any part of the world,” he said. “We’re going to be discussing reciprocal trade. Fair, free but reciprocal.”
“I also hope we will be able to have thorough discussions about international issues, including North Korea,” he added.
The US president defended his tough rhetoric on Pyongyang and said he expected to sit down for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam later this week.
“I think it’s expected we’ll meet with Putin. We want Putin’s help on North Korea,” Trump said.
Tensions have been building on the Korean Peninsula following a series of nuclear and missile tests by Pyongyang as well as mutual threats of military action and personal insults between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Permanent US military presence in the region has also been a constant cause of tension.
Meanwhile, an anti-Trump protest rally was staged in Tokyo ahead of the US president’s arrival in the Far East Asian country.
The last time a US president’s trip to Asia lasted this long was when George H. W. Bush visited the region in late 1991 and early 1992. He became ill at an official banquet and had to prolong his stay.