Vice President Dick Cheney departed Washington Monday, for Japan and Australia for talks about Asian security and the global war on terrorism.
Mr. Cheney is expected in Tokyo Tuesday to meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other top officials.
A senior administration official told reporters Friday that Japan and Australia are two of the best U.S. allies, with both countries active in the global war on terrorism, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The official said Mr. Cheney could also discuss ways the allies can help in the conflicts, including sending additional troops.
The administration official said Mr. Cheney and Japanese officials are also likely to consider ways to move the six-party process forward on a recent landmark North Korean nuclear deal.
Mr. Cheney will leave Japan Thursday for a quick stop to visit U.S. troops in Guam and then to Australia for talks with Prime Minister John Howard and opposition leader Kevin Rudd.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP.