JAPAN/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “When Japan enthrones a new emperor on May 1, the country’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, might be feeling a little jet lagged. Just four days before one of his nation’s most important ceremonial events in a generation, akin to the election of a new pope in Rome, Abe plans to jet around the world and back for a vital mission: maintaining his relationship with President Donald Trump. Abe’s 36-hour trip to a foreign capital 6,700 miles away — he tentatively plans to join first lady Melania Trump’s 49th birthday celebrations on Friday, April 26, and golf with Trump himself the next day, according to two sources familiar with his plans — underscores the extraordinary lengths he has gone to cultivate the U.S. president. Abe, who came to office in 2012 determined to cement the U.S.-Japan alliance, has fully embraced the belief that developing a personal rapport with the president is the way to score diplomatic concessions. Over a courtship that has lasted more than two years, Abe has personally delivered a gold-plated golf club to the president-elect at Trump Tower and, at least by Trump’s account, recently nominated the president for the Nobel Peace Prize in honor of his nuclear diplomacy with North Korea.”

Eliana Johnson, “Gold-plated golf clubs and birthday bashes: How Abe courts Trump,” Politico, April 17, 2019 5:01 am