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Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Trump in Tokyo

トランプ大統領 東京訪問

President Trump was in Tokyo on Monday, Japan being his first stop on a tour of Asia that took him to South Korea yesterday.

Kishu Clan Tokugawa Nakayashiki Front Gate, where Donald Trump stayed on his Tokyo visit.
East Gate (Kishu Clan Tokugawa Nakayashiki Front Gate) of Akasaka State Guest House (Geihinkan), where Trump stayed on his Japan visit

Trump was in Tokyo yesterday, Japan being his first stop on a tour of Asia that took him to South Korea today.

Shinjuku-dori Avenue had police stationed along it, and on inquiring with one of them if it was because Trump was due to pass by, I was told that it was just part of the security for the Geihinkan, or Akasaka Palace, which is where he was staying.

Trumpwatchers talk to a policeman in front of the Geihinkan
Trumpwatchers talk to a policeman in front of the Geihinkan

I mentioned this at the office morning meeting, which got one or two staff members quite excited by their proximity to greatness, or, at least, to newsworthiness.

The Geihinkan, near Yotsuya Station, is just 10 minutes' walk from the office, so at lunchtime I wandered down there. It was a beautiful crisp, clear autumn day, and a flash of presidential orange would have brought an extra fiery touch to an autumn landscape that is only just starting in Tokyo.

Wakaba East Intersection, in front of the Akasaka State Guesthouse, where Trump stayed.
Wakaba East Intersection, in front of the Akasaka State Guesthouse, where President Trump stayed.

I didn't go back along Shinjuku-dori, but the more direct route, past the New Ohtani Hotel. At the bottom of the slope going up to the hotel I encoutered the first security battalion, which had a fence on stand-by to block the road if necessary.

Photographers wait for a glimpse of Trump across from the East Gate of the Geihinkan.
Photographers wait for a glimpse of Trump across from the East Gate of the Akasaka State Guest House.

Closer to the Geihinkan, past the playing fields for Sophia University, there were more police stationed here and there. The road in front of the Geihinkan was open, but, oddly, the police was politely refusing entry to the road to a couple of guys on motorbikes.

Police provide security for Trump's visit, Akasaka State Guest House, Tokyo.
Police provide security for Trump's visit outside the Akasaka State Guest House, Tokyo.

Right across from the Japanese-style side gate to the Geihinkan (the main gate is Western-style) was a cluster of sightseers with cameras in a space set out for them with traffic cones, and a policeman overseeing.

Waiting for Donald Trump to appear, at the East Gate of the Akasaka State Guest House, Tokyo, Japan.
Waiting for Donald Trump to appear, at the East Gate of the Akasaka State Guest House (Geihinkan) Tokyo, Japan.

I thought it unlikely that the Trump motorcade would emerge, or return, at that time of the day - about 1:30pm - because he'd probably already be out there shaking hands and saying how very good, very bad or beautiful things were. But the sightseers (which, of course, included several journalists, it seemed) were dedicated, and just waited there in anticipation for the 15 or so minutes I spent walking past them then back again.

Road leading to front gate of Akasaka State Guest House, Tokyo, where Trump stayed.
Road leading to front gate of Geihinkan (Akasaka State Guest House), Tokyo, where President Trump stayed.

On my way back, a policeman said "konnichiwa" to me, and, when I responded, asked me if I was sightseeing ("Kanko desu ka") to which I responded "Hai."

East Gate (Kishu Clan Tokugawa Nakayashiki Front Gate) of Akasaka State Guest House, where Trump stayed on his visit to Tokyo, Japan.
East Gate of the Akasaka State Guest House, which Trump's entourage left and re-entered,

Helicopters flew overhead at various times of the day, adding, literally, to the buzz. Today everything is back to normal. The only thing I found newsworthy was Trump's question to the Emperor about whether he'd designed his residence or not. Considering that the Emperor had a steeply uphill battle just to get permission to abdicate, and that his daughter-in-law has suffered stress-induced illness due to her tightly regimented existence, Trump's assumption of mogul-like power of whim and fancy on the part of the Emperor was naive and awkward.

Policeman guard a road in the Kioicho district of Tokyo during President Trump's visit.
Policeman on guard in the Kioicho district of Tokyo during President Trump's visit.

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