Obama meets with Japanese leaders
U.S. President Barack Obama meets with the heads of Japan Thursday on his first stop of a four nation tour of Asia. Thursday morning brought the official arrival ceremony for President Obama at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. There, he met with Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko as part of his formal state visit to Japan. The president also met with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe again Thursday morning, to talk business – specifically the TPP trade talks between the world’s first and third biggest economies. But in their joint press conference later, they did not announce any breakthroughs.
“President Obama and I instructed the ministers to continue these talks, so as to bring to a conclusion the remaining issues, so as to bring about a major conclusion to the TPP talks as a whole,” stated Shinzo Abe.
Obama also addressed the ongoing crisis in Eastern Europe:
“With respect to Russia and Ukraine, we’ve been very clear about the fact that there is not going to be a military solution to the problem in Ukraine… and we have continued to hold out the prospect, the possibility to resolve this issue diplomatically.”
And the ongoing territorial dispute over what Japan calls the Senkaku Islands:
“It would be a profound mistake to continue to see escalation around this issue rather than dialogue.”
As part of his four nation trip, Obama heads to South Korea on Friday before stops in Malaysia and the Philippines.