In Japan, labor reforms approved last Friday to protect temporary workers – now about one-third of the workforce – were met with criticism on both sides. Firms say they need a flexible workforce, while laborers say too many loopholes remain.
Health concerns and angry protests have prompted partial bans on US beef imports in Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea – most recently by Taipei on Tuesday. The recurring dispute has strained relations.
Obama, in first stop of his Asia trip, addressed the thorny issue of a US military base in Okinawa. Despite recent tensions, Obamamania is still strong in Japan.