Trump and Abe’s Oval Office Encounter
President Donald Trump’s meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Oval Office took an unexpected turn, resembling a power play among world leaders. The encounter, marked by an extended handshake and a subsequent eye roll from Abe, swiftly became a viral moment on Twitter. Despite its awkwardness, it was part of a generally warm meeting between the two leaders, set to extend onto the golf greens at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida over the weekend.
The Peculiar Handshake
During the meeting, observed by American and Japanese press, a Japanese photographer urged Trump and Abe to shake hands. What followed was an unusually long 19-second handshake that seemed to portray a subtle tug-of-war between the leaders. The press captured the moment, after which Abe rolled his eyes, and Trump, in his typical fashion, gestured a thumbs-up before mimicking a golf swing.
Trump-Abe Relations and History
While this visit marked Abe’s first to the White House since Trump’s inauguration, the two had previously met when Abe visited Trump Tower in November. Their interactions, though seemingly warm, contained moments of awkwardness, notably Trump’s seeming surprise during a second hug.
At a later bilateral news conference, Trump emphasized the robust friendship and chemistry he shares with Abe. Despite the unconventional start to their relationship, both leaders expressed a positive outlook on their bond, with Trump assuring that it would remain strong.
Diplomatic Banter and Golf Plans
During the news conference, Abe mentioned Trump’s lack of political experience, attributing his victory to the dynamism of democracy. He also hinted at the potential use of high-speed Japanese trains in U.S. infrastructure. Additionally, Abe confirmed their golf plans for the weekend, playfully acknowledging his golf skills falling short of Trump’s.
Symbolism of Golf in Diplomacy
The idea of Trump and Abe playing golf together surfaced during their November meeting, emphasizing the historical significance as former leaders Eisenhower and Kishi had similarly engaged in a round. Despite Trump’s prior criticism of Obama’s golfing habits, his weekend golf outings have continued.
As the duo prepares for their golf game at Mar-a-Lago, the details of their match, including their playing partners, remain undisclosed.
The Trump-Abe encounter, marked by diplomatic camaraderie and peculiar moments, underscores the unique dynamics between world leaders. Their upcoming golf game signifies a blend of diplomatic tradition and personal bonding, setting an intriguing tone for their relationship. Amidst their discussions on global affairs, both leaders were seen exploring potential collaborations in business legal services, hinting at a convergence of economic interests alongside their diplomatic engagements.