*From:* "Nakamura, David" <email@example.com>
*Date:* November 6, 2017 at 8:32:16 PM GMT+9
*Subject:* *Travel pool 13/state dinner toasts*
Pool left the hotel shortly after 7 p.m. and made a short drive to the Akasaka Palace for a state dinner. Inside the elaborate dining room, which was the same room where Trump and Abe held their news conference, a long head table was at the center with 16 seats. Seven circular tables were arrayed around the room with 10 seats apiece. Guests milled about including, wait for it, Piko Taro, the famed Japanese creative force behind the Pineapple Pen song. He was decked out in his patented leopard print robes and had the trademark thin moustache. He spoke with guests in dark suits and held court, telling your pooler that he had not met Ivanka -- he seemed disappointed. (Ivanka had Instagramed a video of her eldest daughter dancing to Taros song during the campaign and the video was retweeted by Justin Bieber, helping the song go viral.)
Joining Trump at the head table were Rex Tillerson, McMaster, John Kelly, among others. Potus and Flotus, along with the Abes, entered the ballroom and the two leaders each gave a toast. (Trump was flanked by the PM and Mrs. Abe at the table, btw, with Flotus next to the PM.)
Here are some highlights with an assist from co-pooler Jerome Cartillier of AFP:
Abe spoke first --
"Yesterday golf diplomacy between Donald and me attracted so much attention and we actually made everything public except for the scores", he said, emphasizing that they were not the first to experience "gold diplomacy".
"60 years ago, my grandfather, Prime Minister Kishi and President Eisenhowerwerethe ones who inititated this tradition"
Talking about the teachings of his grandfathers about golf diplomacy, PM Abe said he would add this one: "When you play golf with someone not just once but twice, the person must your favorite guy"
Abe then led the room in a toast.
Trump spoke next --
This has been a real wonderful two days, we have to spend more time together () even though he is a tough negotiator
"My relationship with Shinzo got off for to a quite a rocky start", Trump said telling the story of how PMAbe called him and decided to visit him soon after his election victory.
"After I had won, everybody was calling me from all over the world, I never knew we had so many countries"
"He said to me congratulations I would like to see you. And I said anytime you want but I was referring to after January 20", he went on, saying how surprised he was when he learned the Japanese PM was coming so soon and his staff including Sarah Sanders and Hope Hicks pushed back warning it was "inappropriate" for him to see foreign leaders while Barack Obama was still the president.
But Abe insisted and the Japanese press, then the New York media, began calling to say they heard Abe was intent on visiting Trump Tower. Trump called to tell him not to come but Abe was not there -- he was on the plane to New York (a stop on the way to 2016 APEC in Peru). "I said, there's no way he lands and I don't see him. I saw him and it worked out just fine."
"You have a very aggressive strong tough Prime Minister. Thats a good thing, not a bad thing"
"He actually brought me the most beautiful club I have ever seen. I would be laughed offIt is the most beautiful weapon I have ever seen"
"Melania and I today visited the palace, this is beautiful place"
"We met two very beautiful people, the Emperor and the Empress andwe spent a long time talking to them today"
"There was a lot of room in that room"
"They love the people of Japan, they love this country dearly and they have great great respect for your Prime Minister"
"Our two great countries will have incredible friendship and incredible success for many centuries to come", he concluded.
Pool was escorted out after Trump, holding a glass of what appeared to be red wine, raised a toast. We are holding in a workroom. -30-
Public Pool is an automated feed of White House press pool reports. For live updates, follow @WHPublicPool on Twitter.