U.S. President Donald Trump, who has stamped his name on virtually every product and property in his business empire, plans to leave his mark on the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament in Tokyo, which began May 12.
He will present a custom-made trophy called the “Trump Cup” to the winner.
The president, who will visit Japan from May 25 to May 28 as a state guest, is expected to watch the final day of the tournament on May 26 at the Ryogoku Kokugikan in the capital. He plans to stay to the awards ceremony afterward to climb in the dohyo and hand the cup to the champion wrestler.
Presentation of the Trump Cup will follow the awarding of the Emperor’s Cup, the championship flag and the Prime Minister’s Cup, according to Japanese government officials.
Trump mentioned his plans to attend the sumo tournament along with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a joint news conference in Washington on April 26 before their meeting.
“I’ve always found that fascinating,” Trump said of sumo. “We’re having a trophy made in this country. We’re going to give the trophy to the winner of the championship.”
Former French President Jacques Chirac set the precedent of a foreign dignitary presenting a trophy to the sumo tournament winner. Chirac, known as an avid sumo fan, in 2000 started the tradition of giving a trophy named the “President of the Republic of French Cup,” dubbed the “Chirac Cup,” at every grand sumo tournament for the following seven years.
During his visit to Japan, Abe plans to play golf with Trump, which has become a favorite ritual of the two leaders, and serve him his favorite food, hamburgers.
The government is also arranging for Trump to visit aboard the Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer Kaga at the U.S. Yokosuka Naval Base in Kanagawa Prefecture.
Trump will be the first foreign dignitary to meet Emperor Naruhito after his May 1 enthronement.