TOKYO: Japanese Emperor Naruhito met with visiting US President Joe Biden at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo for about 30 minutes Monday.
Biden arrived at the Imperial Residence just after 10 a.m. (1 a.m. GMT) by car. He called out, “Hello,” after getting out of the car, and the Emperor welcomed him with a smile. They did not shake hands.
According to the Imperial Household Agency, the two greeted each other in English, and the Emperor told Biden that he hopes the US leader’s visit will further enhance amicable ties between the two countries.
Emperor Naruhito thanked Biden for visiting areas affected by the March 2011 major earthquake and tsunami that hit northeastern Japan hard.
Biden replied that he was impressed by the way Japanese people responded to the tragic situation, according to the agency.
The Emperor met with a foreign leader for the first time since last July, when he received dignitaries from around the world, including US first lady Jill Biden, at the Imperial Palace prior to the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympic Games.