Thursday, February 13, 2014

Obama will make 4-nation Asian tour in April

US President Barack Obama will begin a tour of 4 Asian countries -- Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines -- in late April.

White House spokesperson Jay Carney says the tour is part of President Obama's ongoing commitment to increase diplomatic, economic and security engagement with countries in the region.

Obama will most likely visit Japan on April 22nd and 23rd. The Japanese and US governments are making final arrangements.

In Japan, Obama will meet Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to discuss steps to deepen economic ties through the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal.
The relocation of the US Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa and regional security challenges such as developments in North Korea and China's increasing maritime activities will also be discussed.

It will be Obama's 3rd visit to Japan since taking office and the first in around 3 and a half years following his participation in the APEC meeting in Yokohama.

The White House spokesperson says in South Korea he'll discuss with his counterpart recent developments in the North as well as its denuclearization.

In Malaysia, the leaders will showcase progress made in diplomatic, economic and defense ties.

In the Philippines the leaders will highlight the 2 countries' economic and security cooperation, including the modernization of their defense alliance.