A who's who of the star-studded guest list for the White House’s Japan state dinner

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The ultimate sign of respect for an ally of the US? A lavish state dinner with an equally impressive guest list, of course. The latest politician to receive the high honour is Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his wife Yuko, who were among a celebrity-studded guest list of 200 at the White House this week.

Every detail of the event on Wednesday was meticulously planned to represent the intertwined relationship between the two countries, from a fan adorned entrance which First Lady Jill Biden’s team said are “a symbol of life and the many paths life can take,” to 6ft table centre pieces of roses, peonies and cherry blossom and a hearty three-course menu featuring home-cured salmon and rib eye steak.

The National Anthem was played during a State Arrival Ceremony on the South Lawn and entertainment included an after-dinner performance by American singer-songwriter Paul Simon (apparently both Jill and Fumio are fans) which was followed by sets from the Marine Band Chamber Orchestra, the Army Rolling Strings and the Air Force Strings.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

So who was lucky enough to be toasting the Japanese PM at the boujiest state event in some time? Only the biggest names in big tech, sports, acting, the President’s political allies, and billionaires needed to expect an official invitation to don their best black tie.

Representing US sport was Olympic champion figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi. While actor and director Robert De Niro and wife Tiffany Chen added some A-list credentials.

From the President’s team were Vice President Kamala Harris, second gentleman Doug Emhoff, and Democratic governors including Kathy Hochul of New York, Josh Shapiro of Pennsylvania, Tony Evers of Wisconsin, and Roy Cooper of North Carolina. While flying the flag for White House alum was former president Bill Clinton and former secretary of state Hilary Clinton.

Making the event a family affair were the president and first lady’s daughter Ashley Biden and husband Howard Krein, as well as granddaughters Finnegan Biden and Naomi Biden Neal, and her husband, Peter Neal.

Then from the world of tech were Apple CEO Tim Cook and Microsoft president Brad Smith. Finance big wigs included BlackRock CEO Larry Fink and JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon. While former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos attended with his fiancé Lauren Sanchez. Ah, to be a fly on the wall.

And the festivities are far from over. Tonight the Kishidas will be taken to North Carolina and to be treated to a what’s been dubbed a ‘whole hog’ barbecue with US Attorney Roy Cooper, the state’s governor, with bluegrass music to soundtrack the event.