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Obama Begins 4-Country Asia Trip       04/23 06:09

   President Barack Obama is opening a four-country visit to the Asia-Pacific 
region in Japan, but the West's dispute with Russia over Ukraine is looming.

   TOKYO (AP) -- President Barack Obama is opening a four-country visit to the 
Asia-Pacific region in Japan, but the West's dispute with Russia over Ukraine 
is looming.

   Obama arrived in Tokyo Wednesday night on an official state visit. He was 
headed straight for a private dinner with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe 
(shin-zoh ah-bay) before bilateral talks Thursday. Obama also will be the 
honored guest at a state dinner.

   The situation in Eastern Europe remains tense days after the U.S., Russia, 
Ukraine and the European Union signed an agreement calling on Moscow to use its 
influence to get pro-Russian forces to leave government buildings they have 
occupied in eastern Ukraine.

   The West promises additional sanctions against Russia if that does not 
happen.

   Obama will also visit South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines.


(KA)


 
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