Obama will visit Meiji Jingu, museum during Japan tour

WASHINGTON - The White House said Friday that US President Barack Obama will visit Meiji Jingu shrine during his stay in Japan, as part of his tour to four Asian countries in late April.

Detailed schedules of Obama's trip have also been released.

Obama will have a private dinner meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday, and on Thursday they will hold a summit meeting to demonstrate unity between Japan and the United States toward the international community.

Obama will be the first US president to visit Japan as a state guest in 18 years, since a visit by then US President Bill Clinton. Obama will stay in Japan from Wednesday to Friday.

After leaving Japan on Friday he will then visit South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines.

The private dinner will be held soon after Obama's arrival in Japan, on Wednesday evening.

According to sources knowledgeable on Japan-US relations, they will dine outside the prime minister's official residence with the intention of deepening their relationship in a relaxed atmosphere.

On Thursday morning Obama will attend a welcome ceremony in the Imperial Palace, followed by the summit meeting and a joint press conference.

In the afternoon, the US leader will visit the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation and Meiji Jingu shrine, before meeting with Japanese business leaders.

In the evening, Obama will attend a banquet at the Imperial Palace.

At a press conference Friday, National Security Advisor Susan Rice commented on Obama's forthcoming tour of Asian countries, saying that it will be an important opportunity to clearly express the United States' continuing focus on the Asia-Pacific region.