Obama to host Japan's Abe for state visit in April: White House

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 23, 2015 8:49 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama will host Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the White House for a state visit next month as part of Abe's eight-day visit to the United States, officials said on Monday.

Abe will go to the White House on April 28 for meetings with Obama on a range of economic and security issues as well as a formal state dinner, the White House said in a statement.

Obama and Abe will discuss a number of global topics, "including progress on the Trans Pacific Partnership, Japan's expanding role in the alliance and climate change," it added, referring to a 12-nation trade pact still to be finalized.

The visit also signals another step in the Obama administration's efforts to focus policies on the Asia Pacific region.

Abe's talks with President Barack Obama are expected to focus on security cooperation in the face of growing Chinese power and assertiveness in Asia and the Japanese leader's moves to loosen the restraints of his country's pacifist post-war constitution.

The leaders' talks are expected to be preceded by a meeting of their foreign and defense ministers to finalize updated defense cooperation guidelines.

Abe's U.S. trip also will include stops in Boston, San Francisco and Los Angeles, Japanese officials said earlier on Monday.

(Reporting by Susan Heavey and David Brunnstrom; Editing by Bill Trott)