Japan wrestling with Trump going to sumo during state visit

TOKYO (AP) — Plans for U.S. President Donald Trump to check out the ancient Japanese sport of sumo wrestling during a state visit are raising security issues for organizers.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is eager to have Trump and his wife, Melania, attend the final day of a 15-day tournament on May 26 and hand over a trophy to the winner.

The issue for organizers, Japanese media reports said Tuesday, is that more than 1,000 seats near the ring are generally sold out and buyers will all have to be checked in advance.

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Gain rare insight into the intricacies of sumo
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Gain rare insight into the intricacies of sumo

Sumo wrestler Kaiho eats a "chanko" meal in the main hall of Ganjoji Yakushido temple, in Nagoya, Japan, July 5, 2017. The temple is used by sumo wrestlers belonging to the Tomozuna stable as a temporary base for the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament.

(REUTERS/Issei Kato)

A sand-covered loincloth, or mawashi, worn by a sumo wrestler is seen during a training session at Ganjoji Yakushido temple in Nagoya, Japan, July 5, 2017. The temple is used by sumo wrestlers belonging to the Tomozuna stable as a temporary base for the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament. 

(REUTERS/Issei Kato)

Local residents observe a sumo training session at Ganjoji Yakushido temple, in Nagoya, central Japan, July 5, 2017. The temple is used by sumo wrestlers belonging to the Tomozuna stable as a temporary base for the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament. 

(REUTERS/Issei Kato)

Mongolian-born Tomozuna Oyakata, or master of the Tomozuna stable (L), attends his wrestlers' training session at Ganjoji Yakushido temple in Nagoya, Japan, July 5, 2017. The temple is used by sumo wrestlers belonging to the Tomozuna stable as a temporary base for the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament. 

(REUTERS/Issei Kato)

Sumo wrestler Kainowaka prepares a meal of "chanko nabe", a signature hot-pot dish associated with sumo wrestlers, in an open-air kitchen at Ganjoji Yakushido temple in Nagoya, Japan, July 5, 2017. The temple is used by sumo wrestlers belonging to the Tomozuna stable as a temporary base for the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament. 

(REUTERS/Issei Kato)

Sumo wrestler Kaiho stands on a sumo ring as he prepares for a training session at Ganjoji Yakushido temple in Nagoya, Japan, July 5, 2017. The temple is used by sumo wrestlers belonging to the Tomozuna stable as a temporary base for the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament.

(REUTERS/Issei Kato)

Sumo wrestler Kaiho reacts during a training session at Ganjoji Yakushido temple in Nagoya, Japan, July 5, 2017. The temple is used by sumo wrestlers belonging to the Tomozuna stable as a temporary base for the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament. 

(REUTERS/Issei Kato)

Sumo wrestler Kaiho takes part in a training session at Ganjoji Yakushido temple in Nagoya, Japan, July 5, 2017. The temple is used by sumo wrestlers belonging to the Tomozuna stable as a temporary base for the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament. 

(REUTERS/Issei Kato)

Lunch dishes, some provided by local fans and well-wishers, are seen in the main hall of Ganjoji Yakushido temple in Nagoya, Japan, July 5, 2017. The temple is used by sumo wrestlers belonging to the Tomozuna stable as a temporary base for the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament. 

(REUTERS/Issei Kato)

Mongolian-born sumo wrestler Kyokushuho has his hair fixed after a training session at Ganjoji Yakushido temple in Nagoya, Japan, July 5, 2017. The temple is used by sumo wrestlers belonging to the Tomozuna stable as a temporary base for the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament.

(REUTERS/Issei Kato)

Sumo wrestler Kainishiki returns to training at Ganjoji Yakushido temple in Nagoya, Japan, July 5, 2017. The temple is used by sumo wrestlers belonging to the Tomozuna stable as a temporary base for the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament. 

(REUTERS/Issei Kato)

Mongolian-born Tomozuna Oyakata, or master of the Tomozuna stable, attends his wrestlers' training session at Ganjoji Yakushido temple in Nagoya, Japan, July 5, 2017. The temple is used by sumo wrestlers belonging to the Tomozuna stable as a temporary base for the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament. 

(REUTERS/Issei Kato)

Mongolian-born Tomozuna Oyakata (3rd L), or master of the Tomozuna stable, and his wrestlers eat a meal inside the main hall of Ganjoji Yakushido temple in Nagoya, Japan, July 5, 2017. The temple is used by sumo wrestlers belonging to the Tomozuna stable as a temporary base for the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament. 

(REUTERS/Issei Kato)

Mongolian-born Tomozuna Oyakata, or master of the Tomozuna stable, signs autographs for fans after a training session at Ganjoji Yakushido temple in Nagoya, Japan, July 5, 2017. The temple is used by sumo wrestlers belonging to the Tomozuna stable as a temporary base for the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament. 

(REUTERS/Issei Kato)

Sumo wrestler Kyokuhozan takes a break during training at Ganjoji Yakushido temple in Nagoya, Japan July 5, 2017. The temple is used by sumo wrestlers belonging to the Tomozuna stable as a temporary base for the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament.

(REUTERS/Issei Kato)

Sumo wrestlers take a nap using oxygen masks in the main hall of Ganjoji Yakushido temple, in Nagoya, Japan, July 5, 2017. The temple is used by sumo wrestlers belonging to the Tomozuna stable as a temporary base for the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament. 

(REUTERS/Issei Kato)

Sumo wrestler Kainoryu (R) plays with kindergarten children at Ganjoji Yakushido temple in Nagoya, Japan July 5, 2017. The temple is used by sumo wrestlers belonging to the Tomozuna stable as a temporary base for the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament.

(REUTERS/Issei Kato)

Tanabata festival decorations, made with a bamboo branch and strips of coloured paper, often with people's wishes written on them, are presented to sumo wrestlers from kindergarteners, at Ganjoji Yakushido temple in Nagoya, Japan, July 5, 2017. The temple is used by sumo wrestlers of the Tomozuna stable as a temporary base for the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament. 

(REUTERS/Issei Kato)

Sumo wrestlers Kyokutaisei, Mongolian-born Kyokushuho, Brazilian-born Kaisei and Asahisho, prepare to leave the Ganjoji Yakushido temple for a dinner being hosted for them, in Nagoya, Japan, July 5, 2017. 

(REUTERS/Issei Kato)

Sumo wrestler Kyokutaisei uses his smart phone during a break in his private compartment at Ganjoji Yakushido temple in Nagoya, Japan, July 5, 2017. The temple is used by sumo wrestlers belonging to the Tomozuna stable as a temporary base for the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament. 

(REUTERS/Issei Kato)

Brazilian-born sumo wrestler Kaisei (L), and Mongolian-born sumo wrestler Kyokushuho tape up during training session at Ganjoji Yakushido temple in Nagoya, Japan, July 5, 2017. The temple is used by sumo wrestlers belonging to the Tomozuna stable as a temporary base for the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament. 

(REUTERS/Issei Kato)

"Chanko nabe", a signature hot-pot dish associated with sumo wrestlers, is seen in a main hall at Ganjoji Yakushido temple in Nagoya, Japan, July 5, 2017. The temple is used by sumo wrestlers belonging to the Tomozuna stable as a temporary base for the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament. 

(REUTERS/Issei Kato)

Sumo wrestler Kyokutaisei poses for a photograph with a baby after their training session at Ganjoji Yakushido temple in Nagoya, Japan, July 5, 2017. The temple is used by sumo wrestlers belonging to the Tomozuna stable as a temporary base for the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament. 

(REUTERS/Issei Kato)

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They may also have to ban the sale of canned beer in the front section, where Trump is expected to sit, the reports said.

Ring-side seats are coveted for sumo, an art-like sport that dates back to the 17th century, featuring overweight men in top-knots and loincloths bashing each other in a circular mud ring.

Trump's state visit from May 25-28 has regional security and trade issues on the agenda. He is also expected to be the first foreign dignitary to meet Emperor Naruhito, who inherited the Chrysanthemum Throne on May 1.

Every Japanese prime minister likes to trumpet close ties with this nation's most important ally. But Abe has made showing off close relations with Trump a key part of his profile.

Trump has said he is having a trophy made for the sumo winner, which Japanese media have already informally dubbed the "Trump Cup."

"I've always found that fascinating," Trump told reporters last month, describing sumo as "something I'll enjoy very much."

The winning wrestler gets several trophies, so adding another cup would not be a problem.

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President Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
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President Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

U.S. President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe deliver remarks at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, U.S., December 27, 2016.

(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (C) and U.S. President Barack Obama (L) bow their heads during a wreath-laying ceremony aboard the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, U.S., December 27, 2016.

(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

U.S. President Barack Obama prepares to deliver remarks at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam's Kilo Pier on December 27, 2016 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Shinzo Abe is the first Japanese prime minister to visit Pearl Harbor with a U.S. president and the first to visit the USS Arizona Memorial.

(Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)

U.S. President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe greet Pearl Harbor survivors Everett Hyland, Al Rodrigues and Sterling Cale after giving remarks at Kilo Pier overlooking the USS Arizona Memorial at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S. December27, 2016.

(REUTERS/Hugh Gentry)

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (L) talks with U.S. President Barack Obama during a meeting at Camp H.M. Smith in Aiea, Hawaii, U.S., December 27, 2016.

(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

U.S. President Barack Obama releases flower petals following a wreath-laying ceremony with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (L) aboard the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, U.S., December 27, 2016.

(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (L) greets a Pearl Harbor survivor after delilvering remarks with U.S. President Barack Obama at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, U.S., December 27, 2016.

(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

U.S. President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe greet Pearl Harbor Survivors Everett Hyland, Al Rodrigues and Sterling Cale after giving remarks at Kilo Pier overlooking the USS Arizona Memorial at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu, Hawaii, December 27, 2016.

(REUTERS/Hugh Gentry)

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam's Kilo Pier on December 27, 2016 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Abe is the first Japanese prime minister to visit Pearl Harbor with a U.S. president and the first to visit the USS Arizona Memorial.

(Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)

US President Barack Obama (C) and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe greet veterans at Kilo Pier overlooking the USS Arizona Memorial on December 27, 2016 at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii. Abe and Obama made a joint pilgrimage to the site of the Pearl Harbor attack on Tuesday to celebrate 'the power of reconciliation. 'The Japanese attack on an unsuspecting US fleet moored at Pearl Harbor turned the Pacific into a cauldron of conflict -- more than 2,400 were killed and a reluctant America was drawn into World War II.

(NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

US President Barack Obama (R) listens as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks at the USS Arizona Memorial on December 27, 2016 at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii. Abe and Obama made a joint pilgrimage to the site of the Pearl Harbor attack on Tuesday to celebrate 'the power of reconciliation. 'The Japanese attack on an unsuspecting US fleet moored at Pearl Harbor turned the Pacific into a cauldron of conflict -- more than 2,400 were killed and a reluctant America was drawn into World War II.

(NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

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The ring-side seats called "masu seki," which cost about 10,000 yen ($100) each, don't have chairs but are boxed in areas with Japanese "zabuton" mattresses for sitting on the floor. Seats up higher in the stands have chairs.

News Post Seven reported that putting in chairs was being considered to accommodate Trump. All entering Ryogoku Kokugikan, the venue in Tokyo, go through metal detectors and other standard security checks.

The Japan Sumo Association and the U.S. Embassy declined comment Tuesday.

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