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Apr 24, 2014

Obama to use Japan visit to reassure Asian allies

TOKYO (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama will use a state visit to Japan on Thursday to try to reassure Asian allies of his commitment to ramping up U.S. engagement in the region, despite Chinese complaints that his real aim is to contain Beijing’s rise.

Obama will be treated to a display of pomp and ceremony meant to show that the U.S.-Japan alliance, the main pillar of America’s security strategy in Asia, remains solid at a time of rising tensions over growing Chinese assertiveness and North Korean nuclear threats.

Apr 23, 2014

Obama seeks to ease Asian allies’ doubts during visit to Japan

TOKYO (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will use a state visit to Japan on Thursday to try to reassure Tokyo and other Asian allies of his commitment to ramping up U.S. engagement in the region, despite Chinese complaints that Washington’s real aim is to contain Beijing’s rise.

Obama will be treated to a display of pomp and ceremony meant to show that the U.S.-Japan alliance, the main pillar of America’s security strategy in Asia, remains solid at a time of rising tensions over growing Chinese assertiveness and North Korean nuclear threats.

Apr 23, 2014

U.S. steps up trade pressure on Japan ahead of Obama visit

TOKYO (Reuters) – The United States put last-minute pressure on Japan to compromise in tough trade talks on Wednesday, shortly before President Barack Obama was to arrive for a state visit.

The two-way talks – focusing on Japan’s agricultural market and both countries’ car markets – are key to reaching a multilateral trade pact that is central to Obama’s strategic shift towards Asia.

Apr 23, 2014

Obama reassures Japan, other allies on China as Asia trip begins

TOKYO (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama has said Washington welcomes China’s rise but that engagement with Beijing would not come at the expense of its Asian allies – as Chinese state media greeted his arrival in the region with a broadside accusing the United States of wanting to “cage” the emerging superpower.

The reassuring remarks aimed at Japan and other allies, set against a robust commentary from China’s state news agency Xinhua that also called the United States “myopic”, demonstrate the delicate balancing act Obama faces on a week-long Asia tour.

Apr 23, 2014

Obama reassures Japan, other allies on China ahead of visit

TOKYO (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama has said Washington welcomes China’s rise but that engagement with Beijing would not come at the expense of its Asian allies – as Chinese state media greeted his imminent arrival in the region with a broadside accusing the United States of wanting to “cage” the emerging superpower.

Obama’s remarks, aimed at reassuring Japan and other allies, set against a robust commentary from China’s state news agency Xinhua that also called the United States “myopic”, demonstrate the delicate balancing act Obama faces on a week-long Asia tour.

Apr 22, 2014

Asia tensions simmer as Obama set to arrive in Tokyo

TOKYO (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama arrives in a tense Asian region on Wednesday, faced with the delicate task of assuring Japan and other regional allies of America’s commitment to their defense without hurting Washington’s vital ties with a rising China.

That difficult diplomatic balancing act was highlighted on Monday, when Japanese Prime Minister sent a ritual offering to Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine, seen in parts of the region as a symbol of Japan’s past militarism.

Apr 22, 2014

Obama, Abe under pressure to salvage signature Pacific trade pact

WASHINGTON/TOKYO (Reuters) – A meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe this week in Tokyo may not seal one of the world’s biggest trade pacts, but it could give it a much-needed boost.

A central element of Obama’s strategic shift towards Asia, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would connect a dozen Asia-Pacific economies by eliminating trade barriers and harmonizing regulations in a pact covering two-fifths of the world economy and a third of all global trade.

Apr 17, 2014

Obama, Abe to battle negative images at U.S.-Japan summit

TOKYO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – When President Barack Obama meets Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a summit next week, they will be battling negative undercurrents that could undermine their message that Asia’s most important security alliance is firm.

Obama, stopping in Tokyo at the start of a four-nation Asian trip, must counter worries in Japan that his commitment to its defense in the face of an increasingly assertive China is weak.

Apr 11, 2014

U.S. may give up demand for zero Japan beef tariffs in trade deal: Nikkei

TOKYO (Reuters) – The United States appears willing to accept a big cut in Japanese tariffs on beef imports rather than insist on scrapping the levy, the Nikkei business daily said on Friday, as the two countries seek a trade deal seen as vital to a broader regional pact.

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and Japanese Economics Minister Akira Amari wrapped up two days of intense talks on Thursday on the bilateral deal, a cornerstone of the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), with both saying progress had been made but that big gaps remained.

Apr 8, 2014

Japan, fresh from Australia pact, says U.S. trade talks ‘difficult’

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan, fresh from clinching a trade deal with Australia, said on Tuesday it hoped for a similar result in negotiations with the United States and also for a broad regional trade pact, but said the talks would be difficult.

Japan and the United States are pushing for a two-way trade deal, a crucial part of a broad U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), before U.S. President Barack Obama arrives in Japan this month.

    • About Linda

      "I direct a team of reporters responsible for covering politics, diplomacy, social and security policies in the world's second-biggest economy, as well as natural disasters, entertainment and lifestyle trends. I have been in my current position since April 1999 and prior to that was Chief Economics Correspondent, Japan."
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