Obama heads to Asia, breaks foreign travel record

Posted By: Staff
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Washington, Nov. 12 (ANI): US President Barack has travelled to more countries in his first year in office than any of his predecessors and now, will undertake a nine-day tour of Asia.

Since taking office, he has made seven foreign trips and visited 16 countries, three of them twice.

The Asia trip will take him to Japan, Singapore, China and South Korea, bringing his total to eight foreign trips and 20 countries, CBS News reports.

The only other president to come close to Obama during their first year in office, is President George H. W. Bush, who took seven foreign trips to 14 countries.

His son travelled abroad five times to 11 countries during his first year. President Clinton only did two foreign trips to three nations in 1993.

Foreign travel by American presidents is a relatively new practice. No sitting U.S. president left the country until Theodore Roosevelt in 1906. He made a single foreign outing: a three-day visit to Panama in November of that year to inspect construction of the Panama Canal.

Obama's destinations in Asia are all first-time visits for him - including two stops in China: Shanghai and Beijing. Tokyo is the President's first stop in Asia. He'll confer there with the new Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and also have a rare meeting with Japan's Emperor Akihito.

In Singapore, Obama attends the annual Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum to discuss efforts to promote global economic growth. Since Russia is an APEC member, Obama will have a one-on-one there with President Dmitry Medvedev. He'll also hold a "bilateral" there with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia.

Obama's final stop is South Korea, where he'll discuss the problems and threats North Korea poses with President Lee Myung-bak. He'll also visit with U.S. military personnel stationed in South Korea. (ANI)

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