Tony Abbott has been officially welcomed to Japan in a ceremony that spared no pomp or grandeur for the visiting Australian prime minister.
A military band in full regalia greeted Mr Abbott with a rendition of Advance Australia Fair, before his counterpart Shinzo Abe led an inspection of the crisp troops on display.
Mr Abbott then introduced Prime Minister Abe to his delegation, including Trade Minister Andrew Robb and Australia’s top diplomat Peter Varghese.
The two leaders already have met informally since Mr Abbott touched down in Tokyo, but after Monday’s state welcome there was no question Australia’s leader was among friends in Tokyo.
Giant flags bearing the Southern Cross and the rising sun waved above the State House, with the national flags also lining streets in downtown Tokyo.
It is Mr Abbott’s first official visit to the North Asia region, and Japan has gone to great lengths to ensure his stay is well and truly acknowledged.
He has been granted an audience with Japan’s monarch Emperor Akihito at the Imperial Palace, and later on Monday will become the first foreign leader to address the country’s National Security Council.
Mr Abbott has reciprocated with warm speeches thanking Japan and its leadership for 60 years of unwavering friendship and trade.
The prime minister wants to secure a free trade agreement with Japan, Australia’s second-largest trading partner, during his visit.
But negotiators in Tokyo have so far failed to clinch a satisfactory deal, and the clock is ticking before Mr Abbott departs for Seoul.
Trade isn’t the only issue on the agenda.