President Trump delivered a not-so-veiled threat to North Korea leader Kim Jong-un when he warned the world, namely dictators, not to underestimate "America's resolve" in a speech at Yokota Air Base on Sunday. Was it? It was not pleasant.
The two leaders had played golf together at the president's Florida golf resort when they first met, in Mar-a-Lago last February.
Meanwhile, a new analysis by the Pentagon only reaffirmed the daunting military challenges posed by North Korea. Pyongyang later violated the agreement. "The trip comes, I would argue, at a very inopportune time for the president".
Scott Seaman, a director for Asia of the Eurasia Group, a political risk consultant organization, noted: "everything is fine with Trump until you tell him no. So far, Abe hasn't told him no".
The talks will come as the investigation into Trump's ties to Russia's 2016 election meddling heats up back home.
The most likely venue for a meeting would be an Asian economic summit in Vietnam next week. Trump dubbed Abe and Matsuyama "wonderful people", while Abe called it a "round of golf with a marvelous friend".
North Korea is the critical issue looming over Trumps 12-day, five-country trip that will include direct talks with Trumps Chinese and Russian counterparts.
North Korean artillery along the Demilitarized Zone alone could cause "tens of thousands of casualties in South Korea" in "the first hours" of a military conflict, said the report, published Oct. 27. Fiery threats against the North could resonate differently than they do from the distance of Washington. He also complained about U.S. trade deficits, and said other countries need to open their markets to more American products. The US response should be a strengthening of existing security alliances in tandem with "hard-headed engagement" with Beijing.
A Japanese official told the press that the dinner included Hokkaido scallop & white truffle salad; sautéed Shizuoka's ise ebi bisque; and Tajima beef steak.
President Trump touched down in Japan on Sunday morning - Saturday night in the United States - to start a tour of Asia devoted mostly to arguments about trade and worries about North Korea's nuclear weapons.
Today, Mr Trump will meet with anguished families of Japanese citizens snatched by Pyongyang's agents.
However, he described North Korea as "a big problem for our country and for our world and we want to get it solved".
The president and first lady Melania Trump planned to make a call on Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan. "Never waiver, and never falter in defense of our people, our freedom, and our great American flag".
Soon after he landed in the Yokota Air Base, located on the outskirts of Tokyo, Trump spoke in front of US service personnel stationed in Japan.
Trump trusts Abe very much and often seeks his views and "advice" on Asian affairs, one of the Japanese sources quoted high-ranking U.S. officials as saying.
President Trump waves as he boards Marine One at Kasumigaseki Country Club after playing golf with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday.
"As Americans celebrate Veterans Day this month, we honor all who have sacrificed to make peace and stability possible", Trump said, adding the United States pays tribute to every proud American who has worn the uniform and served the nation.