Accessibility links

Obama to Outline Asia Approach in Tokyo Speech


U.S. President Barack Obama is set to deliver a speech in Tokyo (8 p.m. EST) that aides say will lay out his approach to American relations with Asia.

U.S. President Barack Obama is set to deliver a speech in Tokyo (8 p.m. EST) that aides say will lay out his approach to American relations with Asia.

White House officials say the speech will cover a wide range of issues including nuclear proliferation and climate change.

Ben Rhodes, the Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications says the president will also talk about human rights - particularly in places like Burma.

But Rhodes indicates the speech will not include a direct reference to the fate of Tibet.

Critics have already charged the president with downplaying human rights conditions in Tibet to appease the Chinese government. They cite as proof his decision not to meet with the Dalai Lama during the Tibetan spiritual leader's recent visit in Washington.

Rhodes stresses the president will meet with the Dalai Lama after his Asia trip. And he says President Obama will bring up the issue when he meets with Chinese leaders next Tuesday and Wednesday in Beijing.

"The president looks forward to the opportunity to meet with the Dalai Lama to discuss this and will raise it as well in attempting to make progress on this with the Chinese and the Tibetans," said Rhodes.

Rhodes has helped craft many of the President's major speeches abroad - including an address to the Muslim world in Cairo.

He says Mr. Obama will speak to a fairly broad audience in Tokyo, with invited guests from many backgrounds and regions traveling to the Japanese capital for the address.

Rhodes makes clear the president will focus on common concerns and common threats - from spurring the development of new, cleaner, energy technology, to the ongoing effort to deal with North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

"He will have an opportunity to speak about North Korea and our efforts with our partners in the region to press North Korean to live up to its obligations," said Rhodes.

Rhodes says that while President Obama will bring up the global economy in his address, he will hold most of his comments on trade and related matters until Sunday. That is when he meets with the leaders of 20 other Pacific Rim economies at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Singapore.

XS
SM
MD
LG