US President Log 1 / Obama dines with Abe at sushi restaurant in Tokyo on April 23

Obama Abe Sukiyabashi Jiro

US President Barack Obama dines with Japan’s Prime Minister Sinzo Abe at Sukiyabashi Jiro sushi restaurant in Tokyo on April 23. (Cabinet Public Relation Office Photo)


April 23, 2014 in Japan Time

At 7:06 pm local time, President Obama disembarked from Air Force One at Haneda Airport and was greeted by a group of American and Japanese officials. The full list, per the White House, is below.

Caroline Kennedy, United States Ambassador to Japan
Hirotaka Ishihara, Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs
Shigeyuki Hiroki, Head of the Suite of Honour, Ambassador
Kenichiro Sasae, Ambassador of Japan to the United States
Nobuko Sasae, Wife of Ambassador Sasae
Koji Tomita, Director-General, North American Affairs Bureau, MOFA
Akio Hayashi, Vice-Grand Master of the Ceremonies, Imperial Household Agency
Kenko Sone, Director, First North America Division, North American Affairs Bureau, MOFA
Tokuro Furuya, Principal Deputy Chief of Protocol, MOFA
Misuzu Iwami, Master of the Ceremonies, Imperial Household Agency
Kenji Ueki, Administrator, Tokyo International Airport
Dr. Edwin Schlossberg, Spouse of Ambassador Kennedy
Lt General Sam Angelella, U.S. Forces Japan

After an uneventful motorcade, the president arrived at the Hotel Okura at 7:36 pm local time. As the motorcade drove along the highway workers in one office building stood up against the window and took pictures; when it entered downtown Tokyo there were small groups of people standing on the street watching it go by. A couple of people clapped, though there was less picture-taking than in Washington state.

Prime Minister Abe has invited President Obama to dine in the Ginza district at Sukiyabashi Jiro, one of the finest sushi restaurants in the world. Its owner and sushi master, Jiro Ono, turns 90 next year and was featured in the 2011 documentary by David Gelb, “Jiro Dreams of Sushi.”

Obama arrived at 8:34 pm local time along with US Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy and national security adviser Susan Rice. Obama, wearing a black suit, shook hands with Prime Minister Abe, who sported a gray suit. Neither men wore ties.

At 10:05 pm local time President Obama left Sukiyabashi Jiro restaurant along with Ambassador Kennedy and National Security Adviser Susan Rice. “That’s some good sushi right there,” Obama remarked as he emerged from the restaurant after the hour and-a-half dinner with the prime minister.

In a restaurant on the same basement floor, diners peeked through the windows and aimed their cameras to grab a picture of the president.

The motorcade is headed back to the hotel for the night.

At 10:14 pm local time the motorcade pulled into the Okura Hotel.

Reported by White House Correspondents, Colleen McCain Nelson of Wall Street Journal, and Juliet Eilperin of Washington Post.