By KOTARO ONO/ Staff Writer
Donald Trump will get into the swing of his upcoming visit to Japan by playing golf with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at an exclusive club in Saitama Prefecture, Japanese government sources said.
The two leaders, who share a passion for the sport, will play Nov. 5, at the Kasumigaseki Country Club in Kawagoe in the central part of the prefecture, according to the sources. A professional golfer is also expected to accompany them for the game.
The club, established in 1929, counts many politicians and business leaders among its members. It is scheduled to serve as a venue for golf events in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
After the round of golf, the pair will continue their bonding session with an unofficial dinner party hosted for Trump. The next day, the two will hold a bilateral summit meeting, the sources added.
A golf theme is becoming par for the course when the Japanese and U.S. leaders meet. Abe presented golf clubs to Trump when they met in the United States in November 2016, before Trump assumed the U.S. presidency in January.
When Abe visited the United States again in February, the pair played golf for about five hours at one of Trump’s golf courses while they discussed world affairs.
Abe considers the golf play and accompanying talks to have helped forge the current close relations between the two, the sources said, and so Abe is placing importance on “golf diplomacy.”
Abe’s grandfather, Nobusuke Kishi, also played golf with U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower in 1957 during a visit to the United States when he was prime minister.