Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has arrived in the US, ostensibly for talks on strengthening the two nations’ key security alliance.
The BBC reports that ahead of his visit Mr Abe gave an interview to the Washington Post newspaper, saying that improved ties with Washington were top of his agenda.
Mr Abe is making his first trip to the US after being elected in December and is expected to also talk about North Korean nuclear tests and island disputes in the region.
Mr Obama’s top Asia advisor, Danny Russel, said on Thursday that the president “remains supportive of the peaceful efforts to find diplomatic resolution to outstanding issues of territorial claims”, AFP reports.
It is also being reported that Abe will be accompanied by his top currency official, Vice Finance Minister Takehiko Nakao, as part of efforts to limit international friction over a weakening yen.