Obama Begins Asia Trip With Reassurance For Japanese

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U.S. President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe depart after a private dinner at Sukiyabashi Jiro restaurant in Tokyo on April 23, 2014. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

Even before President Obama arrived in Tokyo to start his week-long Asia trip, he moved to reassure the Japanese that the U.S. supports Japan in its territorial dispute with China over some islands.

In written answers to journalists’ questions, the president said, “The policy of the United States is clear.” The U.S. opposes “unilateral attempts to undermine Japanese administration of these islands.”

President Obama’s trip comes amid concerns in the region about the rise of China, and about Russian aggression in Ukraine. Also on the agenda is a new trade agreement the U.S. is pushing.

The BBC’s Rupert Wingfield-Hayes joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to discuss the trip, which will include stops in South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines before the president returns to Washington next Tuesday.

Note: This interview can be heard in the Here & Now podcast or with the WBUR mobile app.


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