U.S. President Donald Trump said Friday he decided to visit Japan next month after being told by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that an upcoming imperial succession is "100 times bigger" an event to the people of Japan than the Super Bowl.

At the outset of a White House meeting with the Japanese prime minister, Trump said he had hesitated to accept an invitation to meet the new emperor, not sure if he could make the trip, so he asked Abe, "how big is that event compared to the Super Bowl for the Japanese?"


Abe responded, "It's about 100 times bigger," and Trump immediately decided to visit, according to the president. "I'll be there. If that's the case, I'll be there," Trump said.

Trump and his wife Melania will be Japan's first state guests after Crown Prince Naruhito ascends to the throne next Wednesday, following the abdication of his 85-year-old father, Emperor Akihito, the previous day.

During his May 25-28 trip, Trump is also expected to watch the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament in Tokyo and give a U.S.-made trophy to the winner of the championship.

"I've always found that (sumo) fascinating," Trump said, adding he thinks an outing to the Ryogoku Kokugikan sumo arena will be "something I'll enjoy very much."