TOKYO, April 3 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plan to hold summit talks on April 24 in Tokyo, while the itinerary of Obama is yet to be finalized, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Friday.
Obama will be the first U.S. president to visit Japan as a state guest since Bill Clinton in April 1996. The trip is part of a four-nation Asian tour by Obama that will also take him to South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines.
According to Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, the two leaders "will affirm the strong Japan-U.S. alliance."
Meanwhile analysts noted that Abe's visit to the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine last December and controversial remarks related to Japan's wartime history by the head of Japan's public broadcaster NHK have drew concern among U.S. policymakers, making Tokyo eager to reaffirm the relation at this moment.
During the summit, Obama and Abe are also expected to talk about the nuclear issue of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiation and the reduction of the burden on Okinawa Prefecture, which owes bulk of U.S. military bases.
Obama may arrive in Japan on April 23 or by the morning on April 24 at the latest, according to Japan's Foreign Ministry. He will also meet Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko during the visit.