JBER (AP) - President Donald Trump has greeted U.S. troops in Alaska while on his way to a state visit in Japan.
Trump shook hands and signed caps for the service members on the tarmac at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage.
Air Force One stopped there to refuel before it continued on to Tokyo, where Trump is being welcomed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
As he walked across the tarmac, Trump said Alaska is a "nice stop" and commented about needing the fresh air.
Japan is ready to roll out the newest phase of its charm offensive targeting President Trump as it welcomes him on a state visit, hoping to defuse the threat of potentially devastating U.S. tariffs on autos.
Abe, arguably Trump's closest friend on the world stage, will continue a years-long campaign that so far appears to have spared Japan from far more debilitating U.S. actions.
The stakes are high. U.S. tariffs could cripple Japan's auto industry, while North Korea remains a destabilizing threat in the region.
Trump departed Washington for Tokyo on Friday.