Melania Trump in glitzy Tokyo pearl visit

US First Lady Melania Trump and her Japanese counterpart Akie Abe visit a pearl jewelry maker, in Tokyo on Sunday. (AP)
Updated 05 November 2017
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Melania Trump in glitzy Tokyo pearl visit

TOKYO: While her husband hit the greens, First Lady Melania Trump got a glimpse on Sunday of Japanese cultured pearls at Tokyo’s glitzy Ginza shopping district on the first day of their Asia tour.
Melania was welcomed by Akie Abe, the wife of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, at Mikimoto’s flagship pearl shop as part of her cultural programs, while dozens of security guards kept close watch.
The two greeted and kissed each other on the cheek instead of shaking hands or bowing.
Then they went upstairs to a “hidden floor” of the building, reserved for VIPs, to talk over tea and coffee. No details of their discussions were released.
Mikimoto brought in two “ama” divers who traditionally harvest pearls, clad in typical white costumes with big goggles and wooden buckets, to explain pearl farming to the US first lady.
Japan is known for producing especially high-quality pearls.
“Wonderful visit w/ Mrs. Abe today! Enjoyed conversation over tea & the cultural presentation on the history of pearls,” Melania tweeted after the meeting.
One of the divers, 57-year-old Miaki Okumura, told reporters after the two VIPs left the shop: “I was asked how deep the waters we dive are, and how long I can hold my breath.” “I answered that the depth was about five-six meters and I can hold my breath for about 40-50 seconds,” she said, adding that Melania seemed impressed at her endurance.
“She looked like a very kind person and was also very beautiful. Her hands were beautiful and warm when we shook hands.”
The other diver Saki Satonaka, 22, said Melania “congratulated me for my debut as a professional ama diver a month ago.”
“I’ll keep the wonderful memory of today’s event throughout my life,” Satonaka said.


Europe, Japan send spacecraft on 7-year journey to Mercury

Updated 20 October 2018
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Europe, Japan send spacecraft on 7-year journey to Mercury

  • Once the spacecraft arrives in late 2025, it will release two probes that will independently investigate the planet

TOKYO: European and Japanese space agencies say an Ariane 5 rocket has successfully lifted a spacecraft into orbit for a joint mission to Mercury, the closest planet to the sun.
The European Space Agency and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency say the BepiColombo spacecraft successfully separated and was sent into orbit from French Guiana early Saturday to begin a seven-year journey to Mercury.
The mission is complicated by the intense gravity pull of the sun, forcing the spacecraft to take an elliptical path that involves two fly-bys of Venus and six of Mercury itself.
Once the spacecraft arrives in late 2025, it will release two probes that will independently investigate the surface and magnetic field of Mercury.