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President Joe Biden kicked off his first full day in Japan by traveling to two Tokyo palaces for noon – first meeting with Japanese Emperor Naruhito at the Imperial Palace and then Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the Akasaka Palace.
Biden’s meeting with Kishida marks the first time the two leaders held an official bilateral meeting, as the Japanese prime minister took office in October. The two met along the sidelines of the G7 in March in Brussels.
The American president was greeted with considerable pomp and circumstance outside Akasaka Palace.
A Japanese honor guard – dressed in white uniforms with red accents – marched with American and Japanese flags.
A military band played the Star-Spangled Banner and then the Japanese national anthem.
Earlier at the Imperial Palace, Biden was met outside by the emperor before the two slipped inside for a private meeting.
Biden didn’t touch the emperor, nor did he bow.
‘President Biden called on His Majesty the Emperor Naruhito today to offer greetings on behalf of the American people, highlighting the strength of the U.S.-Japan relationship anchored by deep people-to-people ties,’ the White House said about Biden’s first stop.
President Joe Biden (left) walks alongside Japenese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (right) outside the Akasaka Palace in Tokyo Monday morning
President Joe Biden (right) puts his hand over his heart for a playing of the Star-Spangled banner outside the Akasaka Palace in Tokyo as he meets Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (left) for the first time
A Japanese honor guard carrying both Japenese and American flags welcomes President Joe Biden to Akasaka Palace in Tokyo on Monday
Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (left) stands alongside President Joe Biden (right) at a welcoming ceremony Monday in Tokyo at the Akasaka Palace
President Joe Biden (left) greets Japan’s Emperor Naruhito (right) for a meeting at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo – the first stop on Biden’s first full day in Japan
President Joe Biden (left) poses for a photograph with Japan’s Emperor Naruhito (right) outside the Imperial Palace Monday morning in Tokyo
President Joe Biden (left) walks into the Imperial Palace Monday morning in Tokyo alongside Japane’s Emperor Naruhito (right)
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (center right) looks at the venue prepared for the welcome ceremony Monday for President Joe Biden
Security police are seen in the Tokyo streets in advance of President Joe Biden’s meeting Monday with Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida
President Joe Biden (right) embraces U.S. ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel (left) on the tarmac of Yokota Air Base in Tokyo, Japan Sunday
The U.S. ambassador to Japan, former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (right), stands alongside Japan’s Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi (left) to welcome President Joe Biden to the country Sunday evening
Biden’s first trip to Asia puts him face-to-face with three new leaders: South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, Kishida and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.
After Biden and Kishida hold a bilateral meeting, they’ll hold a joint press conference Monday afternoon.
Monday night they’ll have dinner together at the Tokyo restaurant Kuchuon.
South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, who Biden spent the weekend with, has only been in office for 13 days.
They held at event at a Samsung plant, held a bilateral meeting and press conference, then Yoon invited Biden to National Museum of Korea for a state dinner, complete with Korean fare. They spent part of Sunday together at Osan Air Base thanking American and Korean troops.
On Tuesday, Biden will meet Australia’s Albanese as part of the second in-person Quad meeting, which India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also attend.
Albanese won Saturday’s Australian election over incumbent Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
The White House confirmed Sunday that Albanese would fly to Tokyo for the Quad meeting as one of his first official duties.
First Lady Jill Biden beat her husband to Asia, when she led a two-person U.S. delegation to the Tokyo Olympics in July, which was scaled-down due to the coronavirus pandemic.
She, too, met with Emperor Naruhito at the Imperial Palace. The first lady also spent time at Akasaka Palace with Japan’s previous leader, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and his wife Mariko.
While Biden will be interacting with new leaders, an old problem hung over his time in Asia: missile and nuclear testing threats from North Korea.
As of Monday morning, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un did not make good on a testing threat.
Biden will privately meet the families of Japanese people who have been abducted in North Korea alongside Kishida Monday afternoon.
First Lady Jill Biden (left) traveled to Tokyo last summer and met with Japenese Emperor Naruhito (right) at an event welcoming all the heads of delegations for the Tokyo summer Olympics
First Lady Jill Biden waves to reporters as she arrived at the Imperial Palace last July for an event hosted by Japan’s Emperor Naruhito