Sato meets President Trump during Japanese state banquet

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If Takuma Sato needed any proof that his win at the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil in May continues to reverberate in his native Japan, he got it today.

The Verizon IndyCar Series driver was an invited guest at a state banquet in Tokyo hosted by Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe and his wife in honor of U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit to Japan.

The banquet was held at Akasaka Palace, the Japanese government’s official guest house. The palace, which was built in 1909, is considered a national treasure of Japan.

先日の官邸に引き続き… 今夜の迎賓館へも自分で運転して行きました笑 明日の@ZIP_TV で今夜のインタビューが放送されます。6時15分頃と7時のコーナーだそうです。朝早いですがお楽しみに!#迎賓館 #晩餐会 #NSX @HondaJP pic.twitter.com/6nkVp5J87Y

It was privilege to be invited the banquet that Prime Minister @AbeShinzo hosted for President @realDonaldTrump トランプ大統領を歓迎する安倍首相夫妻主催の晩餐会😀 pic.twitter.com/vtPts6SDWF

Sato became the first Japanese driver to win the Indianapolis 500 in May. He also became just the 33rd recipient of the Japanese Prime Minister’s Award earlier this year. At the dinner Monday night in Japan, he was able to catch up with golfer Isao Aoki, who Sato tweeted was actually Japan’s first Brickyard winner. Aoki (pictured top right with Sato in the tweet below) won the Champions Tour’s Brickyard Crossing Championship at IMS in 1994 and was mentioned by both Abe and Trump in their formal remarks.

ブリックヤードを制した初の日本人、青木功さん!女優の米倉涼子さん、そしてピコ太郎@pikotaro_ppap 笑さん、先日の#HEROs でもご一緒したなでしこジャパンの川澄奈穂美選手!楽しい晩餐会でした😊 pic.twitter.com/NhVgDpsni7

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