Fishy business: Trump and Abe dump fish food into precious koi carp pond
The two leaders apparently lost patience with delicately spooning out the food and upended their entire wooden boxes of food into the pond
Donald Trump and the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, have taken a forceful approach to feeding fish on the second day of the US president’s five-nation tour of Asia.
Standing beside a pond brimming with colourful koi carp in the Akasaka palace in Tokyo, the two men began spooning out fish food before appearing to lose patience and emptying their wooden containers with a shake.
The palace’s large collection of koi carp have been viewed by a succession of world leaders, including Margaret Thatcher. It is not known whether the former British prime minister was as aggressive as Trump when it came to feeding the pond’s inhabitants.
White House reporters, keen perhaps to pick up on a Trump gaffe, captured the moment when he upended his box on their smartphones and tweeted evidence of his questionable grasp of fish keeping. However, other footage made clear that Trump was merely following his host’s lead.
Abe is seen grinning, as is a woman in a kimono standing to one side. Next to her, Rex Tillerson – perhaps grateful for a moment of comic relief after he was named in the Paradise Papers – could not suppress a laugh, according to witnesses.
Some speculated that a poor palace employee would be dispatched to the scene to clean up the mess as soon as the two leaders disappeared inside.
Trump and Abe are not alone in misjudging the fishes’ appetite, however.
According to the Aquascape website, overfeeding is the most common mistake made by keepers of koi carp.
“This can make your fish sick, and excessive amounts of waste that strains the limits of what can be biologically reduced, results in a decline of water quality,” the site says.
The incident caused outrage among fish lovers on Twitter, with many pointing out that fish cannot absorb a large amount of food at a time.
Trump getting hammered for feeding fish when Obama was caught doing similiar thing! https://t.co/VxC2FcGLdy
— Karl Walnut (@CryinHillary) November 6, 2017
— Trackpad Trump (@TrackpadTrump) November 6, 2017
This article has been amended to make clear that Abe also emptied the contents of his container into the pond.