President Donald Trump met with Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko on Monday, sharing a brief handshake eight years after his predecessor became a global laughingstock by bowing deeply before the monarch.
Visiting with the emperor and empress is routine for heads of state visiting Tokyo, and Trump did his part a few hours before a joint press conference with Prime Minster Shinzo Abe, who wields more power than the aging figurehead.
Trump nodded his head slightly, but did not bend at the waist.
An administration official traveling with Trump on his Far East tour told DailyMail.com that bowing is ‘not his style – never has been.’
DEEP BOW: Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama earned plaudits in Tokyo but caught no end of grief in the U.S. for bowing deeply before the emperor in November 2009 at the same spot.
In 2009 when the 6-foot, 2-inch Barack Obama visited Tokyo’s Imperial Palace, he made a grand gesture by bowing at the waist to the 5-foot, 5-inch Akihito.
Trump is the same height as Obama.
It wasn’t the first time Obama was caught up in a bowing scandal: Seven months earlier, he appeared to bow to the king of Saudi Arabia during a G20 Summit in London.
Akihito assumed his title in 1989 following the death of his father Hirohito, who had presided over Japan’s military alliance with Nazi Germany.
Hirohito green-lighted the bombing of the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, killing more than 2,000 and leading to America’s entry into World War II.