President Obama visits Japan, meets with Emperor Akihito
Barack Obama concluded his two-day visit to Japan – the first country he visited on his nine-day Asian tour.
Speaking in front 1,500 people in Tokyo Concert Hall, Obama promised an “unshakable” commitment to Asian security and re-affirmed the alliance between Japan and the United States.
During his speech, Barack Obama touched some lighter topics as well; he shared with the audiences his memories of a childhood visit to Japan and recalled being rather interested in consuming ‘matcha’ – green tea ice cream. He also sent his greetings to the small Japanese fishing town Obama, which was actively supporting his candidacy during the presidential campaign and which now enjoys a booming industry thanks to its famous namesake.
Obama also congratulated the Emperor on the 20th anniversary of his accession to the Throne.
Following his speech, the President had lunch with Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. Upon arrival, Obama showed his respect for the Emperor with a deep bow, which will no doubt be warmly received in a country where bows are sign of great respect and regard.
The bow however proved controversial outside Japan, where a lot of English-language newspaper sported similar headlines – “How low can he go?” President Obama has already been in a centre of similar controversy, when he allegedly bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia, which the White House denied.Japan
Tagged Bilateral Relations, Bowing & Curtseying, Emperor Akihito of Japan, Empress Michiko of Japan, Official Visit, President Obama of the United States, United States of America.