Trump to golf with Abe, world No. 3 Matsuyama during Japan visit

US President Donald Trump (centre) will golf with Japan PM Shinzo Abe (left) and world No. 3 Hideki Matsuyama during his Japan visit.
US President Donald Trump (centre) will golf with Japan PM Shinzo Abe (left) and world No. 3 Hideki Matsuyama during his Japan visit. PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (BLOOMBERG) - US President Donald Trump told Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that he was delighted he'd be able to play a round of golf with world No. 3 Hideki Matsuyama during a visit to Japan early next month.

The two leaders confirmed the round, to be played on Nov 5, on a call from Mr Trump to congratulate Mr Abe on his decisive victory in the general election.

The game will take place on the initial day of the President's first Asian trip, which will also see him travel to South Korea, China, and attend summits in South-east Asia.

Mr Abe is taking a page from his grandfather's playbook in using golf to form ties with an American leader, with the pair appearing to have used the sport to help cement the two countries' alliance.

In 1957, then-Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi - Mr Abe's grandfather and political role model - played a round of golf with President Dwight D. Eisenhower on a course in Maryland.

News reports described the game as a "triumph for diplomacy".

Mr Abe and Mr Trump took to the greens in Florida during Mr Abe's trip to meet Mr Trump earlier this year.

Mr Matsuyama, 25, has won five times on the PGA tour.