MOBARA, Japan (AP) — Golf never seems to be far behind whenever President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe get together. So on Sunday, during a four-day state visit to Japan, the president jumped aboard the Marine One helicopter in Tokyo and flew south to the Mobara Country Club for a steamy morning round with the Japanese leader. Abe is Trump's closest friend among world leaders and it's the fifth time they played golf together since Trump took office. Abe's strategy is to keep his country out of Trump's crosshairs amid U.S.-Japan trade tensions and the continued threat North Korea poses to both nations.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe drove President Donald Trump around the Mobara Country Club in a golf cart as they met to play another round. Trump arrived at the course, which is located south of Tokyo, via the Marine One presidential helicopter. Abe had arrived before and emerged from a motorcade of golf carts after Trump arrived. The leaders shared a warm handshake and patted each other's forearms before they posed for a throng of journalists. Abe wore white pants and a dark blue sport coat. Trump wore a red half-zip pullover with a white shirt and dark pants. It's the fifth time the leaders have played golf, part of a continuing charm offense by Abe to stay on Trump's good side amid trade tensions between their countries.
TOKYO (AP) — In an apparent contradiction of his national security adviser, President Donald Trump on Sunday downplayed recent North Korean missile tests, tweeting from Tokyo that they're not a concern for him — even though they are for Japan. Trump also said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's attacks on one of his Democratic rivals, former Vice President Joe Biden, had made him smile. The remarks were the latest example of Trump's willingness to publicly undermine senior advisers, flout Democratic norms and side with totalitarian leaders, even on the world stage. He did so this time during a four-day state visit to Japan where he'll become the first leader to meet with the country's new emperor.
BEIJING (AP) — The U.S. ambassador to China urged Beijing to engage in substantive dialogue with exiled Tibetan Buddhist leader the Dalai Lama during a visit to the Himalayan region over the past week, the U.S. Embassy said Saturday. Terry Branstad also "expressed concerns regarding the Chinese government's interference in Tibetan Buddhists' freedom to organize and practice their religion," an embassy statement said. "He encouraged the Chinese government to engage in substantive dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives, without preconditions, to seek a settlement that resolves differences," it said. Branstad also raised long-standing concerns about the lack of consistent access to the Tibetan Autonomous Region.
KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Family, friends and supporters welcomed a veteran Sherpa guide upon his return to Nepal's capital on Saturday, days after his 24th climb of Mount Everest extended his record. After flying back from Everest to Kathmandu, Kami Rita was greeted by the waiting crowd at the airport. His wife hugged him and the crowd covered him with a cream-colored scarf and offered him yogurt. The brief celebration at the airport parking area with traditional drums was followed by Rita riding on a truck waving to supporters as they drove out of the airport. He told reporters he was very happy but exhausted.
NEW DELHI (AP) — India's president on Saturday appointed Narendra Modi as the prime minister, soon after newly elected lawmakers led by Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party chose him as their leader following a thunderous victory in national elections. President Ram Nath Kovind said in a tweet that he also asked Modi to forward the names of those to be appointed as ministers in his government, and the date for swearing-in for his second five-year term as prime minister. Modi and some leaders of his alliance met the president earlier on Saturday. Media reports said that Modi is likely to be sworn in by Kovind on Thursday.
BANGKOK (AP) — A military-aligned candidate won majority support to become Thailand's house speaker on Saturday, signaling further dominance of the army in the next government, five years after it staged a coup. Former Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai, 80, was named speaker after the House of Representatives voted 258-235 in his favor in the first working session of the lower chamber. Chuan came up against another candidate who was backed by more liberal parties. The pro-military Palang Pracharath Party, which nominated Chuan, is tipped to lead the new government expected to be formed in the next few weeks and headed by the junta leader, Prayuth Chan-ocha, who staged the coup and has served as prime minister since then.
CANNES, France (AP) — South Korean director Bong Joon-ho's raucous social satire "Parasite," about a poor family of hustlers who find jobs with a wealthy family, won the Cannes Film Festival's top award, the Palme d'Or, on Saturday. The win for "Parasite" marks the first Korean film to ever win the Palme. In the festival's closing ceremony, jury president Alejandro Inarritu said the choice had been "unanimous" for the nine-person jury. The genre-mixing film, Bong's seventh, had arguably been celebrated more than others at Cannes this year, hailed by critics as the best yet from the 49-year-old director of "Snowpiercer" and "Okja." "It's the 100th anniversary of the cinema in Korea this year.
TOKYO (AP) — When President Donald Trump visits Japan, he'll be able to point to Tokyo's streets to drive home a sore point in trade relations between the allies: the absence of made-in-USA vehicles. The $70 billion Japanese trade surplus with the U.S. is dwarfed by China's $379 billion surplus, and the trade tensions between Washington and Tokyo are far less contentious than the tariffs war with Beijing. But the disputes between Japan and the U.S. are longstanding and also intractable: the bilateral agreement with Tokyo that Trump has been seeking since pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement two years ago is still far down the road, say analysts and politicians on both sides.
TOKYO (AP) — U.S. national security adviser John Bolton on Saturday called a series of short-range missile tests by North Korea earlier this month a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions and said sanctions must be kept in place. Washington's position on the North's denuclearization is consistent and a repeated pattern of failures to rid North Korea of nuclear weapons should be stopped, Bolton said, defending the recent U.S. seizure of a North Korean cargo ship. The U.S., however, is willing to resume talks with North Korea at any time, Bolton said. Bolton was speaking to reporters in Tokyo ahead of President Donald Trump's arrival for a four-day visit to Japan.