US first lady arrives in Japan for first time

TOKYO - Michelle Obama arrived in Japan on Wednesday afternoon on her first visit to the country, as part of a trip to highlight the importance of girls' education.

The first lady, who stepped off a US government plane wearing a bright yellow dress, was without her husband President Barack Obama for the tour, which will last five days and also includes a visit to Cambodia.

Obama will meet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie in separate meetings on Thursday, as well as attend events designed to highlight the Let Girls Learn initiative aimed at helping girls in developing countries go to school.

On Friday she will visit tourist hotspot Kyoto, where she will go to the 1,200-year-old Kiyomizu Buddhist temple, a stunning wooden structure set in the hills around Japan's ancient capital, as well as a similarly-aged Shinto shrine.

She will fly to Cambodia on Friday afternoon from Osaka.

Barack Obama came to Japan in April last year, but his wife was absent because their daughters were at school.

Her arrival coincided with a speech made by former US President Bill Clinton at a Tokyo university Wednesday afternoon alongside US ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy and Abe as they attended a symposium on the legacy of assassinated John F. Kennedy.