Donald Trump presents special presidential trophy to top sumo wrestler

26 May 2019, 11:43 | Updated: 26 May 2019, 14:22

The US president has presented a special Trump trophy to the winner of a sumo tournament in Tokyo as part of his four-day state visit to Japan.

Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie joined an estimated 11,500 fans who packed Ryogoku Kokugikan Stadium to watch one of the country's most treasured cultural institutions.

At the end, Mr Trump stepped into the ring and presented the eagle-topped "President's Cup" to champion wrestler Asanoyama, making him the first American president to participate.

Shoes are not permitted in the sumo ring, so the president wore a pair of dark-coloured slippers.

Following the event, Mr Trump said he always wanted to see sumo wrestling and that it was an "incredible evening". He added: "That was something to see these great athletes."

Earlier Mr Trump and Mr Abe played 16 holes of golf at the Mobara Country Club, joined by Japanese professional golfer Isao Aoki.

On Monday, Mr Trump will receive the honour of being the first foreign leader to meet Japan's new emperor, Naruhito, since he ascended to the throne on 1 May.

The US president and Mr Abe will also meet in a more formal setting and participate in a joint news conference.

Japan is seeking to maintain a strong relationship with the US amid trade tensions and the North Korea threat to both nations.

Mr Trump has been seeking a bilateral trade agreement with Tokyo since he pulled the US out of the multinational Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement two years ago, though analysts expect no breakthroughs during the state visit.

Mr Trump had told business leaders after arriving in Tokyo on Saturday evening that the US and Japan were "hard at work" negotiating a new bilateral trade agreement that he said would benefit both countries.

The Trump administration has been threatening Japan with new tariffs on imports of cars and car parts on national security grounds.

Mr Trump has suggested he will impose tariffs if the US fails to get concessions from Japan and the European Union.