First Lady Sips Tea, Learns About Pearls During Japan Visit

As her husband met with Japan’s leader on Monday, Melania Trump immersed herself in the country’s culture, according to the Independent Journal Review.

The first lady joined Akie Abe, the wife of Japanese Prime Minister Shinko Abe, on a trip to a jewelry store.

They were told about how pearls are produced and then sat down for a cup of tea. “Wonderful visit (with) Mrs. Abe today!” Melania tweeted. “Enjoyed conversation over tea & the cultural presentation on the history of pearls.” The women also toured the Kyobashi Tsukiji school, where about 300 students enthusiastically greeted them.

The New York Times reported that one of President Trump’s objectives during his stay in Japan was to persuade the prime minister to buy billions of dollars’ worth of military hardware from the United States. He argued that the country needs more protection because of recent threats by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Though Trump warmly praised Abe as a reliable U.S. ally, he slammed him for not destroying North Korean missiles that recently flew over Japan.

“He will shoot them out of the sky when he completes the purchase of lots of additional military equipment from the United States,” the president predicted, adding: “The prime minister of Japan is going to be purchasing massive amounts of military equipment, as he should. It’s a lot of jobs for us and a lot of safety for Japan.”

Trump responded to criticism of the strong language he has used to denounce Kim, who has been testing ballistic missiles and vowing to develop a nuclear weapon capable of reaching the U.S. mainland. “Some people said that my rhetoric is very strong, but look what’s happened with very weak rhetoric over the last 25 years,” Trump said. “Look where we are right now.”

On Monday morning, the president attended a breakfast event featuring U.S. and Japanese business leaders. He blasted Japan’s trade policies, declaring: “Try building your cars in the United States instead of shipping them over. That’s not too much to ask. Is that rude to ask?”

The Times pointed out that Japanese car companies have many factories in the United States.

Later, Trump and the first lady met with Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko at the imperial residence in Tokyo. Trump then got the red-carpet treatment at Akasaka Palace, where he spoke with the prime minister.

The leaders conducted an inspection of an honor guard displaying rifles with bayonets. Referring to Japan’s economy, Trump told Abe: “I don’t know if it’s as good as ours. I think not, OK? And we’re going to try to keep it that way, and you’ll be second.”

The president accepted the prime minister’s invitation to meet the families of Japanese citizens whom North Korea has kidnapped. Afterward, Trump reminded reporters during a press conference that North Korea also held American Otto Warmbier captive. The college student, who had fallen into a coma in prison, died soon after his release.

The activities in Japan were part of a trip to several Asian nations by the president and first lady.

Source: Independent Journal Review
Photo: Twitter, Flickr/Tony Clark, The White House, Flickr/

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