President Donald Trump and the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, took a forceful approach to feed fish on the second day of the US president’s five-nation tour of Asia.
Standing beside a pond brimming with colourful koi 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 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.
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. According to the Aquascape website, overfeeding is the most common mistake made by keepers of koi.
“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.