US President Donald Trump landed in Japan on Sunday, 5 November, and immediately set about ramping up rhetoric directed at North Korea. The president said that "no dictator" should underestimate his country's resolve as he addressed a gathering of American and Japanese troops on the first leg of his Asia tour.
Trump kicked off his 12-day trip in Asia – the longest by any American president in a quarter of a century – with Japan, one of Washington's vital allies which is under threat from neighbouring North Korea. His visit comes at a time when the situation in the Korean Peninsula remains tense, thanks to Pyongyang's defiant acts.
Soon after he landed in the Yokota Air Base, located on the outskirts of Tokyo, Trump spoke in front of US service personnel stationed in Japan. "No dictator, no regime, no nation should ever underestimate American resolve," said the visiting leader, who was dressed in a leather bomber jacket.
"Every once in a while, in the past, they underestimated us. It was not pleasant for them, was it?" he asked in his first visit to Japan since taking office. "We will never yield, never waver and never falter in defence of our freedom."
Just before Air Force One landed in Japan, Trump told reporters on board the plane that the topic of North Korea would invariably feature prominently in his five-nation tour. "I think it's expected we'll meet with [Vladimir] Putin. We want Putin's help on North Korea," he told reporters accompanying him on the flight.
Trump will play golf with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe later in the day and will also have a working dinner with government officials.
Abe also sounded equally confident earlier that Trump's trip will help build upon the bilateral "friendship and trust" between the US and Japan against the backdrop of serious geopolitical tensions.
"I hope we will be able to have thorough discussions about international issues, including North Korea," Abe told a press conference shortly ahead of Trump's arrival.
Both leaders are also expected to hold a joint press conference later during this trip.