The U.S. President Barack Obama will visit Japan, as well as South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines during a trip to Asia scheduled for late April, in a bid to promote his administration’s commitment to the region, according to a statement made by the White House on Wednesday.
During his visit to Japan, Obama will meet Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to discuss about methods of strengthening their security and economic ties and “expand our cooperation on a range of diplomatic challenges in Asia and globally,” the White House said.
It has not been decided yet the exact date of Obama’s visit to Japan, nor if he will be accommodated as a state guest, according to the international press.
Japan and the United States are working on realizing Obama’s visit, which will be the first such in three and half years, on April 22 and 23, a Japanese government official said.
Another reason of Obama’s visit to Japan is to clarify the issue of Abe’s controversial visit to a war-related shrine in December despite objection by the U.S. side, including Vice President Joe Biden. The Japanese politicians have tried to minimize the effects of the disagreement, the media says.
Obama will visit Japan for the first time since the violent earthquake and tsunami hit the northeastern region in March 2011.