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Obama opens Japan trip at famous sushi restaurant

By The Associated Press

This article was published April 23, 2014 at 9:13 a.m.

president-barack-obama-and-japanese-prime-minister-shinzo-abe-leave-after-having-dinner-at-sukiyabashi-jiro-sushi-restaurant-in-tokyo-on-wednesday-april-23-2014

President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe leave after having dinner at Sukiyabashi Jiro sushi restaurant in Tokyo on Wednesday, April 23, 2014.

TOKYO — President Barack Obama on Wednesday opened a four-country Asia tour aimed at reassuring allies in the region that the U.S. remains a committed economic, military and political partner that can serve as a counterweight to China's growing influence.

The president kicked off his trip on an informal note, joining Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a famous Tokyo sushi restaurant with hard-to-come-by reservations and a hefty price tag. Obama and Abe greeted each other warmly outside Sukiyabashi Jiro, the underground sushi restaurant run by 88-year-old Jiro Ono.

The outing was unusually casual by Japanese standards and underscored the effort by both countries to strengthen the personal relationship between Obama and Abe.

Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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AmericasDoomed says... April 23, 2014 at 5 p.m.

I saw where he enjoyed some $300 sushi at our expense. Good thing Moochelle didn't go. We couldn't afford her too.

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