US Presidential Visits to JapanPolitics
On May 22, 2022, US President Joe Biden arrived for his first visit in Japan since taking office last year. The three-day trip includes a summit with Prime Minister Kishida Fumio on May 23 and a meeting of leaders from the Quad (Japan, the United States, India, and Australia) on May 24.
Gerald Ford was the first serving US president to visit Japan in 1974. After this, all US presidents have come to the country at least twice during their time in office, and they have been formal state guests on seven occasions. Bill Clinton has made the most visits, coming to Japan five times.
Among the memorable encounters, President Ronald Reagan went to Prime Minister Nakasone Yasuhiro’s Hinode-Sansō mountain retreat in 1983, and President George H. W. Bush attended the 1989 funeral of Emperor Shōwa. Another notable occasion was President Barack Obama’s historic 2016 visit to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.
US Presidential Visits to Japan
Gerald Ford (1974–77)
November 18–22, 1974 State guest. First serving US president to visit Japan. Meets with Prime Minister Tanaka Kakuei.
Jimmy Carter (1977–81)
June 24–29, 1979 State guest. Attends the Group of Seven Summit in Tokyo. Meets with Prime Minister Ōhira Masayoshi, as well as holding a town meeting in Shimoda, Shizuoka Prefecture.
July 9–10, 1980 Attends Prime Minister Ōhira’s funeral.
Ronald Reagan (1981–89)
November 9–12, 1983 State guest. Meets with Prime Minister Nakasone Yasuhiro and visits his Hinode-Sansō mountain retreat.
May 2–7, 1986 Attends the G7 Summit in Tokyo. Meets with Prime Minister Nakasone.
George H. W. Bush (1989–93)
February 23–25, 1989 Attends Emperor Shōwa’s funeral.
January 7–10, 1992 State guest. Meets with Prime Minister Miyazawa Kiichi. Faints and vomits at a banquet.
Bill Clinton (1993–2001)
July 6–10, 1993 Attends the G7 Summit in Tokyo. Meets with Prime Minister Miyazawa.
April 16–18, 1996 State guest. Meets with Prime Minister Hashimoto Ryūtarō. The two leaders make a Joint Declaration on Security, affirming the ongoing value of the Japan-US Alliance and pledging continued cooperation.
November 19–20, 1998 Meets with Prime Minister Obuchi Keizō.
June 8, 2000 Attends Prime Minister Obuchi’s funeral.
July 21–23, 2000 Attends the G8 Summit in Kyūshū and Okinawa. Meets with Prime Minister Mori Yoshirō.
George W. Bush (2001–9)
February 17–19, 2002 Meets with Prime Minister Koizumi Jun’ichirō.
October 17–18, 2003 Meets with Prime Minister Koizumi.
November 15–16, 2005 Meets with Prime Minister Koizumi.
July 6–9, 2008 Attends the G8 Summit in Tōyako, Hokkaidō. Meets with Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo.
Barack Obama (2009–17)
November 13–14, 2009 Meets with Prime Minister Hatoyama Yukio.
November 12–14, 2010 Attends APEC meeting in Yokohama. Meets with Prime Minister Kan Naoto.
April 23–25, 2014 State guest. Meets with Prime Minister Abe Shinzō. Makes clear that the Japan-US security treaty would apply in the case of an attack on the Senkaku Islands.
May 25–27, 2016 Attends the G7 Summit in Shima, Mie Prefecture. Meets with Prime Minister Abe and visits Hiroshima.
Donald Trump (2017–21)
November 5–7, 2017 Meets with Prime Minister Abe and talks with family members of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea.
May 25–28, 2019 As the first state guest of the Reiwa era (2019–), meets with Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako. Also meets with Prime Minister Abe.
(Originally published in Japanese. Banner photo: US President Joe Biden at O’Hare Airport in Chicago on May 11, 2022. © AFP/Jiji.)