11/13/2009, 00.00
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Barack Obama's first time in Asia

Eight-day trip from Tokyo to Singapore, from Shanghai to Beijing to Seoul. On the agenda: climate change, North Korea’s nuclear program, Iran, Afghanistan, and especially the economic crisis and the Yuan. Criticized by peace activists in Japan.

Tokyo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in Tokyo this morning, thus beginning his first trip to Asia, a year after his election. After Tokyo, Obama will travel to Singapore, where the APEC meeting (the summit of economic cooperation of countries in the Asia-Pacific) is in progress.  From 15 to 18 he will be in Shanghai and Beijing, and finally, before returning to Washington, he will stop in Seoul.

Obama will also hold talks with his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev at the APEC summit.

Among the issues affecting the countries included in the tour are climate change, the North Korean and Iranian nuclear threats, Afghanistan. But it tour will be dominated by building US alliances in the region and the global crisis that has deeply affected the American economy.  

Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has made no secret of wanting a more equal relationship with Washington, by reviewing the presence of U.S. troops on Japanese territory. There is also a suggestion to find another location for the military base in Okinawa. Yesterday, groups of Japanese peace activists protested outside the U.S. embassy in Tokyo, against the transfer of the base to another part of the island, but also criticizing Obama, who on his trip has not included a visit to the cities that were the victims of the American atomic bombs, Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Dialogue with China will concentrate especially on the economic crisis. Obama has demanded China open its markets to U.S. goods and strengthen the Yuan, whose undervaluation is advantageous to Chinese export.

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See also
Growing unemployment in the Philippines, also due to corruption and waste
U.S. debt approaches insolvency; Chinese currency reserves at risk
Japanese exports tumble, trade deficit grows
Chinese yuan set to replace dollar
US Congress threatens sanctions over China’s yuan


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“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”