US President Donald Trump wished his Japanese counterpart happy birthday on Monday. Unfortunately, he was off by over two weeks.
As Trump began a press conference at the White House to mark the signing of a US-Japan trade deal, he started by honoring Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
“I want to start by wishing my very good friend Prime Minister Abe of Japan a very happy birthday – he’s 39 years old today,” Trump said, prompting laughter from the crowd.
“So please extend my wishes to the Prime Minister – he’s a great gentleman and we have had tremendous success.”
Abe turned 65 on September 21 – over two weeks before the press conference.
So while Trump’s comments about Abe’s age were clearly a joke, it wasn’t clear why he chose Monday to offer his birthday well wishes.
Instead, Monday was Russian President Vladimir Putin’s 67th birthday.
Trump made the comments, which have been widely covered in Japanese media, as he marked the signing of a new US-Japan trade agreement and the US-Japan digital trade agreement.
“These two deals represent a tremendous victory for both our nations,” Trump said.