Donald Trump lands in Japan to start marathon tour of Asia

Published: November 05, 2017 10:09:27 | Updated: November 07, 2017 14:15:34

US President Donald Trump arrives with first lady Melania Trump to address members of US military services and Japan Self-Defense Force (JSDF) at US Air Force Yokota Air Base in Fussa, Tokyo, Japan on Sunday. - Reuters photo

US President Donald Trump arrived in Japan on Sunday at the start of a 12-day trip to Asia with South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines also on his itinerary.

It will be the longest tour of Asia by a US president in 25 years.

The trip comes at a time of heightened tensions with North Korea over its nuclear programme and missile tests, according to a BBC report.

Trump is expected to show a united front with South Korea and Japan and urge China to be firmer with Pyongyang.

The president told reporters on board Air Force One that he expected to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin during his Asian trip.

"I think it's expected we'll meet with Putin. We want Putin's help on North Korea," he said.

President Trump arrived at the Yokota US Air Force base west of Tokyo on Sunday morning.

Speaking to US service personnel, he said: "No-one, no dictator, no regime... should underestimate American resolve."

He will later meet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for lunch before the two leaders play a round of golf.

En route to Japan, the president stopped in the US state of Hawaii where he visited the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor - the scene of the 1941 Japanese attack that drew the US into World War Two.

He also took part in a briefing at the US Pacific Command.

Trump has previously exchanged some fiery rhetoric with North Korea over its ballistic missile tests but aides said earlier this week that he would not go to the heavily fortified demilitarised zone (DMZ) on the border between the South and North.

He is, however, to visit Camp Humphreys, a US military complex south of the capital, Seoul.

In Vietnam, Trump will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit in Da Nang and make a state visit to Hanoi.

His final engagement was scheduled to be a summit of South East Asian nations in the Philippine capital, Manila, on 13 November but the trip has now been extended by an extra day so he can attend the East Asia Summit.

The last time a US president made such a marathon trip to Asia was when George HW Bush visited the region in late 1991 and early 1992.

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