Yokota Air Base, Japan --
President Donald J. Trump greeted around 2,000 U.S. and Japanese service members and their families as he made his first official visit as president to Japan, Nov. 5, 2017, at Yokota Air Base, Japan.
Trump’s visit to Yokota was the start of his scheduled 12-day trip throughout the Indo-Asia Pacific region, to include Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. The trip is the longest trip to Asia by any U.S. president in the last 25 years, a trip that is intended to demonstrate America’s commitment to strengthening longstanding United States alliances and expanding new partnerships.
After stepping off Air Force One, the president and first lady were welcomed by U.S. Ambassador to Japan William Hagerty, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono, United States Forces Japan senior leadership and the base commander.
The president and first lady then shook hands, took pictures and spoke with some of the service members and their families before the President took the stage to speak to Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines during a Troop Talk.
“There is no single place I would rather start my trip than right here with all of you,’ said Trump. “The incredible men and women of the United States military and your amazing partners, the Japanese Self-Defense Forces.”
Lt. Gen. Jerry P. Martinez, U.S. Forces Japan and 5th Air Force commander, introduced the commander in chief to the troops.
Martinez and Col. Kenneth Moss, 374th Airlift Wing commander, presented the president with a flight jacket adorned with a Pacific Air Forces patch and a leather name tag as a token of appreciation for his visit to Yokota.
The president thanked service members and their families for their sacrifices and spoke about the importance of the enduring friendship between the U.S. and Japan.
“Japan is a treasured partner and crucial ally of the United States, and today we thank them for welcoming us and for decades of wonderful friendship between our two nations,” said Trump. “Americans have deep respect for the people of Japan, their amazing culture, their strong spirit and their very proud history.”
Trump’s talk with troops at Yokota Air Base was the first presidential engagement of its kind to happen at Yokota Air Base.
After the president’s speech, he boarded Marine One for a short helicopter ride to meet with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, and other Japanese government leaders.