King Salman, who is scheduled to meet with Japanese Emperor Akihito and hold a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, arrived at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport on Sunday evening.
According to local media, the Saudi ruler is traveling with an enormous entourage estimated to have over 1,000 people. Some 1,200 rooms at Tokyo’s luxury hotels have been booked by the delegation for the three-night stay through Wednesday.
Reports said hundreds of limousines have been brought into the Japanese capital to accommodate the visitors.
The trip is the first by a Saudi monarch to Japan in almost 50 years.
Saudi Arabia is the largest provider of oil for Japan. Tokyo relies on Middle East for energy to power the world’s third largest economy.
Saudi king’s luxurious month-long Asia tour has already taken him to Malaysia and Indonesia and will also see him going to China and the Maldives. This comes as the world watches in surprise the extravagant lifestyle of the Saudi monarch at a time that the country is grappling with serious financial problems.
During his visit to Indonesia, the 81-year-old Saudi ruler was accompanied by at least 1,500 people — including 10 ministers, 25 princes and 800 delegates — who traveled to Indonesia on 36 different flights over a period of three weeks, the Indonesian news agency Antara reported.
Adji Gunawan, the president of the airport services company, PT Jasa Angkasa Semestar, told the Jakarta Post that the Saudi king had 459 tonnes of equipment, including two Mercedes-Benz S600s and two electric lifts.
The firm said 63 tonnes of King Salman’s cargo would be unloaded in Jakarta and 396 tonnes would be taken to Bali.