Trump graces sumo bout, plays golf, meets Abe in Japan

Tokyo, May 26 (IANS) US President Donald Trump awarded a trophy to the winner of a sumo wrestling final, here on Sunday, during his four-day visit to Japan.
With the help of an official, Trump handed over the 30-kg, eagle-topped and specially-named US President’s Cup to a victorious Asanoyama, a 25-year-old competitor who till recently had been obscure in the sport, reported Efe news.
The presentation took place in the ‘dohyo’, the name given to the centre of the wrestling arena in the venerated Japanese sport.
The event was subject of great media attention in Japan as it’s unusual for an official representative of the US to take part in such a spectacle.
Trump eschewed the tradition of sitting cross-legged on a cushion in favour of a low-backed seat in the stalls along with First Lady Melania Trump, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie Abe.
The match took place at the Ryogoku Kokugikan arena, the country’s foremost sumo wrestling stadium. After the bout, Asanoyama alias Hiroki Ishibashi said he was lost for words with pride for having received the trophy.
From the ‘dohyo’, Trump also presented the victor a certificate and praised him for his ‘outstanding achievement’. Asanoyama notched 12 wins and 2 losses.
Other foreign heads of state who have watched sumo matches in Japan, include former French president Jacques Chirac who handed over the Chirac Cup to the winner of the tournament.
Trump arrived in Japan on Saturday and is scheduled to leave on Tuesday.
Earlier in the day, he held informal talks with the Japanese Prime Minister during a round of golf in southwest Tokyo.
Although the winner of the round between Shinzo Abe and Donald Trump was not reported, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it was played at Mobara Country Club and started at 9.45 a.m. local time, lasting two and a half hours.
The course is situated in Chiba prefecture, an area that was hit by a moderate earthquake ahead of Trump’s arrival on Saturday.
The pair were joined on the course by veteran Japanese golfer Isao Aoki.
–IANS
niy/pg/pcj

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