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Japanese, U.S. first ladies enjoy girls' day out at Florida museum

PALM BEACH, Florida -- U.S. first lady Melania Trump made her debut on the diplomatic stage with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's wife, Akie, as the pair visited a museum here on the morning of Feb. 11 while their husbands enjoyed a round of golf.

Melania Trump and Akie Abe arrived at Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens shortly after 9 a.m. and began strolling around the museum's garden in the warm South Florida weather with the temperature reaching 23 degrees Celsius.

At first, Mrs. Trump seemed a little nervous, and there wasn't much conversation between the pair, who appeared to be more focused on the museum curator guiding them.

In the later part of their stroll, however, they appeared to have broken the ice after feeding carp together, and during a tour inside the museum their laughter could be heard many times.

According to Mrs. Abe's Facebook post, she and Mrs. Trump visited the church where the Trumps had their wedding. The White House also said that the first ladies had lunch together, emphasizing the beginning of a good relationship, while their husbands spent the day playing golf, although their original plan was to play a round only in the morning.

Opened in 1977, Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens is built on the land which George Morikami -- born Sukeji Morikami in the Kyoto Prefecture city of Miyazu and one of the first Japanese immigrants to settle in Florida in the early 20th century -- donated to Palm Beach County. Its garden, designed by a Japanese gardener based in the United States, is decorated with stone lanterns and other Japanese garden essentials.

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