By Alexis Bell
President Donald Trump landed in Japan on Sunday, Nov. 5, which marks the first stop of his trip to Asia. The 12-day trip will be the longest a U.S. president has spent in Asia in the last 25 years, according to Fox News.
After Japan, Trump will visit South Korea, China and Vietnam. The trip will conclude in the Philippines, according to The Washington Post.
Shortly after Trump arrived in Japan, Trump addressed U.S. and Japanese service members at the Yokota Air Base on the outskirts of Tokyo, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.
“We dominate the sky,” Trump said, according to ABC. “We dominate the sea. We dominate the land and space. Not merely because we have the best equipment, which we do, and by the way, a lot of it’s coming in. You saw that budget. That’s a lot different than in the past. A lot of beautiful brand new equipment is coming in. And nobody makes it like they make it in the United States. Nobody.”
The president promised the troops that they will have the necessary resources to maintain peace and fight for freedom, according to BBC. Trump also told Japanese Prime Minister Shinz? Abe their two nations have never been closer.
The trip is a major test of international diplomacy. Trump is looking to reassure concerned Asian allies that his “America First” agenda will not cede power in the region to China, according to Fox News.
The trip coincides with extreme tension between the U.S. and North Korea, involving nuclear weapons and missile tests, according to BBC.
Jonathan Pollack, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, criticized the trip’s timing.
“The trip comes, I would argue, at a very inopportune time for the president. He is under growing domestic vulnerabilities that we all know about, hour to hour,” Pollack said, according to Fox News.
The grand reception awaiting Trump in Beijing was superfluous and extravagant in an effort to impress the president, according to The Guardian.
Trump appeared to have started off the trip in good spirits at Yokota, according to NBC. Trump signed photos and dollar bills as he walked in. Once he was on stage, Trump switched into a Pacific Air Forces bomber jacket a commander handed him.
“(The trip’s) going to be very positive and very historic,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One during the flight from Hawaii, according to Fox News. “It’s grueling, they tell me, but fortunately that’s historically not been a problem for me. One thing you people will say, that’s not been a problem.”