In this aerial image, U.S. President Donald Trump, second from right, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, left, and Japanese golfer Hideki Matsuyama, third from right in blue, play golf at the Kasumigaseki Country Club in Kawagoe, north of Tokyo, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. President Trump and Prime Minister Abe are calling their golf outing a success. The two leaders played Sunday with Japanese professional Matsuyama at a championship golf course outside of Tokyo. (Kyodo News via AP)
Thursday, November 09, 2017 5:00 pm
Trump unaware as Abe falls in bunker during golf game
TOKYO -- Japan's prime minister said his round of golf with visiting President Donald Trump was a good chance to relax and discuss difficult issues.
It also was an opportunity to display some nimble gymnastics, according to Japan's TV Tokyo.
The network flew a helicopter over the Kasumigaseki Country Club on Sunday to capture the highly anticipated informal game.
It broadcast a video showing a player identified as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe trying repeatedly to hit his ball out of a steep bunker. As he finally made the shot, Trump began walking away, and Abe ran up the side of the bunker to catch up.
But just as the 63-year-old prime minister stepped onto the grass, he slipped, making a backward flip down into the sand. He quickly stood up and picked up his cap.
Trump apparently never noticed the flip as he walked away, his back to Abe. An attendant raking the sand also continued his work.
Japanese widely shared the video on Twitter on Thursday.
"Don't miss Abe's rolling-down-the-bunker video," many of the tweets said. Some called Abe's flip "cute."
Tabloid magazines raised questions about whether the two leaders really talked during the game. The popular Nikkan Gendai said they had little conversation, with Abe often falling behind Trump, who reportedly spent much of his time chatting with a third player, renowned Japanese pro Hideki Matsuyama.
After the golf, Abe told reporters that he and Trump had a deep discussion on serious issues, but added their scores were secret. The two leaders also played golf when Abe visited Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida in February.