The President of the United States, Mr. Gerald Ford, was officially welcomed by Emperor Hirohito?
The President of the United States, Mr. Gerald Ford, was officially welcomed by Emperor Hirohito at the State Guest House in Tokyo on tuesday (19 November), the second day of the President's five-day state visit to Japan, Shortly afterwards, the President half his first round of talks with the Japanese Prime Minister, Mr. Kakuei Tanaka.
Extreme security precautions taken by wary Japanese authorities when the President arrived the day before, had prevented any official welcoming ceremony at the airport. Officials felt that the presence of Emperor Hirohito, and especially the now unpopular Prime Minister Tanaka, at the airport, would have encouraged left-wing demonstrations. Mr. Tanaka's popularity according to the latest opinion polls has now fallen as low as 18 per cent throughout the country.
In a ceremony that lasted an hour at the State Guest House, where the President is staying while in Tokyo, the Emperor formally greeted his guest and its entourage. The Emperor had travelled from his Palace to the Guest House, just two kilometes away (1.2 miles), and it was one of his rare public appearances.
The two heads of state then to the Imperial Palace for a return country call by President Ford.
Later the same morning, the President had a meeting with Prime Minister Tanaka, for the first of two scheduled top level meetings at the Guest House. They were expected to discuss ways of strengthening economic ties under the terms of the Japanese-US Security Treaty, while at the same time playing down the controversial military aspects of the Treaty.