South Korea, Japan clash over Barack Obama’s visit

South Korea, Japan clash over Barack Obama’s visit

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The two Asian countries – Japan and South Korea – are looking to welcome the US president Barack Obama in April 2014. While Japan has been having problems coordinating with the US for Obama’s visit, South Korea has also made a call to Washington for the US president to visit.

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Japan’s capital Tokyo has already requested Obama to visit the city from April 20, 2014 until April 23, 2014, in order to talk with the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Sources familiar with the matter say that foreign minister Fumio Kishida will be visiting the US from February 7, 2014 in order to discuss the matter with John Kerry, the US Secretary of State.

However, the US is forced to pay attention to both countries at a time as they have increasingly confronted each other over a territorial dispute and perceptions of wartime history. Obama’s state visit could improve the Japan-US alliance, in addition to easing the US disappointment over Abe’s recent visit to the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine and increased tensions between Japan and its neighbors in Asia.

The United States government is also looking forward to a visit by Obama to South Korea and other Southeast Asian countries around the same time. South Korea has requested a long stay of Obama in the country and caused uncertainty in regards to Japan’s preparations and if they will proceed smoothly.

Photo Credits: NY Daily News