U.S. President Barack Obama jets off to Asia with a cheery wave as he boards Air Force One. His presence isn't as welcome in some of the nations he plans to visit as he might have hoped. Obama's first port of call is Tokyo. Trade talks are top of the agenda. But his impending arrival has triggered protests by some who object to plans for a multilateral Pacific trade pact and others who simply feel the etiquette's not right. The protesters in Manila are unhappy about an imminent military agreement that will boost the presence of U.S. troops in the Philippines. Scuffles broke out as riot police stopped them approaching the U.S. embassy compound. (SOUNDBITE)(English) RENATO REYES, SPOKESPERSON FOR BAGONG ALYANSANG MAKABAYAN (NEW PATRIOTIC ALLIANCE), SAYING: "It's an affront to our sovereignty. It brings back foreign bases, it reinforces, increases, foreign troops. It's like a second military, second U.S. military occupation or a second colonisation of the country." Obama's expected to use his four-nation trip to reassure key allies like Japan and South Korea that their alliance is a strong as ever. At the same time he needs to avoid damaging relations with increasingly powerful China which is locked in regional territorial disputes with several nations.
Apr. 23 - Protests in the Philippines and Japan as Obama begins Asia visit. Paul Chapman reports. ( Transcript )
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