Obama speaks of Asian ties

AP News
Posted: Nov 13, 2009 8:41 PM

President Barack Obama is highlighting his personal ties to Asia, as part of his effort to broaden U.S. engagement in the region.

In his first major trip to Asia as president, Obama told a group of prominent Japanese in Tokyo about his childhood in Indonesia, where his sister was born. He described his mother's work on behalf of women in Southeast Asia, saying she spent more than a decade there helping women improve their lives.

Obama said that his mother had brought him to Japan as a young boy and that he's never forgotten the warmth and hospitality he was shown there.

Obama also called himself "America's first Pacific president." He didn't note, however, that Presidents Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon both lived in California, America's largest Pacific coast state.