Trump lands in Japan for ceremonial visit

Security has been tightened in Tokyo ahead of US President Donald Trump's visit.
Security has been tightened in Tokyo ahead of US President Donald Trump's visit.

US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania have landed in Japan on a largely ceremonial visit meant to showcase strong ties with Tokyo even as trade tensions loom.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will treat Trump to an imperial banquet and front row seats at a sumo tournament during the trip, which lasts through Tuesday.

The two men share a warm relationship, which the Japanese leader aims to emphasise as Washington mulls tariffs on Japanese auto exports that the Trump administration views as a potential national security threat.

The United States is in the middle of an expensive trade war with China in protest against Beijing's treatment of US companies, and tensions with Japan and the European Union over trade are simmering.

Trump and Abe are expected to discuss trade during talks on Monday, but officials have played down the possibility of a deal during the visit.

Trump will become the first foreign leader to be received by new Japanese Emperor Naruhito since he inherited the throne earlier this month.

After his arrival, Trump was due to meet with business leaders before retiring.

On Sunday, Trump and Abe are expected to play golf and attend a sumo match.

On Monday, they will discuss North Korea's nuclear and missile programs in addition to trade.

Australian Associated Press