Biden’s State Dinner for Japan to Feature Paul Simon and Celebrate Spring

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The “bounty of spring” will be the theme of President Biden’s state dinner for Japan on Wednesday evening, an event that will feature decorations of cherry blossoms and peonies and conclude with a performance by Paul Simon.

Jill Biden, the first lady, and the White House social secretary, Carlos Elizondo, previewed the menu and the décor ahead of the dinner for Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan and his wife. It will be the fifth state dinner of Mr. Biden’s term.

The guests will enter the East Wing to a wall of oversized fans that spill onto the floor, a piece of art and a metaphor with “the small end representing the beginning of life, and each pleat the many paths our lives can take,” Mr. Elizondo said.

The meal will include house-cured salmon with shiso leaf tempura (evoking a California roll) and dry-aged rib-eye beef with morel mushrooms from Oregon and shishito pepper butter. Salted caramel pistachio cake and cherry ice cream will be served for dessert.

Dr. Biden said the dinner had been designed with springtime in Washington in mind, and the decorations would evoke a garden of her favorite flowers, including sweet pea, roses and peonies.

“As guests sit among the field of flowers, glass and silk butterflies from both our countries will dance over the tables,” Dr. Biden told reporters on Tuesday.

The dinner will also spotlight Washington’s cherry trees, a present from Japan in 1912, which stand as “reminders of the gift Japan gave our nation’s capital and the bright future ahead for our partnership,” Mr. Elizondo said.

The executive chef at the White House, Cris Comerford, said the dinner included ingredients sourced from across the country.

Mr. Simon will perform after the dinner. Mr. Biden will also present Mr. Kishida with a two-volume LP set autographed by Billy Joel and a vintage vinyl record collection showcasing other American musicians, the White House announced on Tuesday.

As the evening concludes, guests will leave through a path of hydrangeas, a selection of flowers common in both the United States and Japan.

The guest list is typically released by the White House just before arrivals begin, but the Biden administration tends to invite prominent members of the visiting country, donors, administration officials and members of the Biden family.



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