President Donald Trump and first lady Melania throw petals into the harbour above the USS Arizona's sunken hull. AP
North Korea crisis throws shadow over 11-day visit to four Asia nations. President Donald Trump paid a solemn visit to Pearl Harbour and its memorial to the USS Arizona, a hallowed place he said he had read about, discussed and studied but had never visited until just before opening his first official visit to Asia.
Trump saluted after entering the memorial following a short boat ride with first lady Melania Trump.
They approached a wreath of white flowers - a gift from the couple - and watched as two sailors who stood beside it at attention placed the wreath near a wall of names of the fallen.
Pearl Harbour was the scene of a surprise attack by Japan that plunged the US into World War II, killing hundreds of service members.
After the wreath was placed, the Trumps tossed white flower petals into the waters above the battleship's sunken hull.
Trump did not speak publicly at the memorial. He said during an earlier meeting with military officials that he eagerly anticipated the visit.
"We are going to visit very shortly, Pearl Harbour, which I've read about, spoken about, heard about, studied, but I haven't seen. And that is going to be very exciting for me," Trump said at the start of a briefing with leaders of the US Pacific Command, which oversees US military operations in the region.
Trump stopped in Hawaii on the eve of his first visit to Asia. He arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbour-Hickam Friday after a daylong flight from Washington. He departs today for Japan, the first stop on the five-nation, 11-day journey that will also take him to South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines.
The president quickly donned a lei after he left Air Force One with his wife, who also wore a wreath of flowers. He signed autographs and gave high-fives to kids who were among a group of civilians and service members that gathered for the arrival.
Trump was briefed by leaders of the US Pacific Command. The growing threat from North Korea - a crisis that will shadow the entire trip - was expected to be among the topics discussed.
Trump was also meeting with the governors of Alaska, Hawaii and Pacific US territories, all potential targets of any successful attempt by North Korea to strike the US with a nuclear-tipped missile.
The USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbour marks the final resting place of more than 1000 sailors and Marines who were killed on the battleship during the surprise Japanese attack on December 7, 1941.
Accessible only by boat, the memorial straddles the ship's sunken hull. A total of more than 2300 sailors, soldiers and Marines died as a result of the attack, as well as 68 civilians, according to the National Park Service.
Special squad for Trump women
Tokyo's Metropolitan Police Department has formed a female-only security team to protect female dignitaries, and the squad's first task is to guard Donald Trump's daughter and presidential adviser Ivanka as well as his wife Melania.
Ivanka arrived in Japan on Thursday and made a speech at an international conference on the empowerment of women and related issues - the World Assembly for Women, which was apparently poorly attended.
Trump and first lady Melania are scheduled to arrive today for a three-day visit.
But while the female-only police force looks like good PR, the squad would have minimal effect on dangerous criminals, or if one of the Trumps were in danger.
They are dressed in smart black suits, instead of the body armour usually needed to guard against rioters.
Jonathan Wackrow, a former agent with United States Secret Service who was assigned to the presidential protection unit, told CNN the support forces aren't relied on for any emergency action.
More than 10,000 police officers will be on call for Trump's visit to Japan, according to reports.