Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has touched base in Tokyo with his 1,000-in number escort making the very first visit to Japan by a ruler from the country in about five decades.
The 81-year-old ruler, who was welcomed by Japan’s Crown Prince Naruhito at Haneda air terminal, will meet Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday and as he commences the Japanese leg of a more extensive tour through Asia.
Salman, who will visit 83-year-old Emperor Akihito on Tuesday, is going in style with his requests extending from brilliant elevators to a fleet of hundreds of limousines.
Saudi Arabian King Salman (centre) gets off the plane upon his arrival at Haheda Airport in Tokyo on March 12, 2017
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman arrives in Japan as part of a four-day visit on his Asian tour
King Salman makes his way down his custom-made golden escalators – one of many luxury items to have made the trip
The king’s visit marks the first from the nation to Japan in almost 50 years
Some 1,200 rooms at Tokyo’s luxury hotels have been booked by the delegation for the three-night stay through Wednesday, according to local media, which has also reported that hundreds of limousines have been brought into the capital to accomodate the visitors.
This follows a lavish nine-day trip to Indonesia where the king ordered for a special toilet to be build in a mosque and a custom seat to be built in the House of Representatives.
Saudi Arabia is the largest provider of oil exports for Japan, which relies on Middle East for energy to power the world’s third largest economy.
Japan hopes to use the visit to widen its relations with Saudi Arabia and help the country’s efforts to diversify its economy, including exploring ways to increase Japanese investments in non-energy sectors such as manufacturing, according to officials.
King Salman’s arrival marks the first visit to Japan by a Saudi leader since the 1971 visit to Japan by then-King Faisal.
King Salman himself, however, last visited Japan in 2014 as a crown prince.
The king is on a month-long tour of Asia, which has already taken him to Malaysia and Indonesia.
After Japan, he is scheduled to visit China and the Maldives.
Maldivian opposition parties on Friday raised objections to the planned visit and warned that they would stage protests over reports that Saudi business interests were buying an entire atoll in the politically-troubled Indian Ocean republic.
KING SALMAN’S LAVISH DEMANDS
- As well as the extras King Salman took to Indonesia, he has made some more requests just for Japan
- 1,200 rooms in luxury hotels in Tokyo have been block booked for his massive entourage for the three-night stay
- A fleet of hundreds of limousines have been taken with him to Asia including modified Mercedes-Benz s600s
- Two golden escalators to take him from his enormous private jet
- It has been reported up to 100 security personnel will guard King Salman
- The king’s safety was such a priority that 10,000 Indonesian police officers were deployed including soldiers to make sure the visit was secure
- The House of Representatives installed a special seat for his speech
- A portable ramp was also been fitted to the House at the king’s request
- At the Istiqlal Mosque, an elevator and a special toilet were fitted
- Two Mercedes-Benz s600 limousines made the trip for transport
- As well as the entourage, 800 delegates travelled from Saudi Arabia
- An airfreight company had to set aside 572 members of staff for the cargo