Current Emperor Akihito, 85, will step down at the end of this month, becoming the first Japanese emperor to abdicate in modern history. He will be replaced by his 59-year-old son, Crown Prince Naruhito.
Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will pay a state visit to Japan in late May, becoming Naruhito’s first official foreign guest, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed in a press release Friday.
Japan’s eras mark who the emperor is and form the basis for the Japanese calendar system.
Akihito presided over the Heisei era, which will end on April 30, the day he steps down.
The Reiwa era, which will start once the new Emperor is crowned on May 1, uses the character for “harmony” and references classical Japanese literature.
Trump and Melania will attend a banquet hosted by Naruhito and his wife, Empress Masako, and will also meet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
It will mark the second such meeting in as many months, with the Japanese prime minister set to meet Trump in Washington next week.
In a statement from the White House, a press secretary said that Trump’s planned visit to Japan would “deepen the close bonds” between the Japanese and American people, and “highlight the continued importance of our alliance and partnership.”
The US president will host Abe and his wife Akie Abe at the White House on April 26 and 27, during which the two leaders will discuss developments in North Korea — including efforts to achieve denuclearization, the White House said in a statement.
Abe and Trump have held 38 summit talks — including talks via telephone — since Trump was inaugurated in 2017. Trump also met outgoing Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko in 2017.