Japan's Hatoyama, the new prime minister, is carrying out a campaign promise to push aside bureaucrats and shift more power to the politicians. The effort is playing to favorable reviews – though budging an entrenched bureaucracy will take time.
The Japanese government is touting nuclear power plants as an easy way to cut carbon emissions. But safety is a public concern on the earthquake prone island, where a 6.9 magnitude quake hit on Saturday.
The ruling Democratic Party of Japan vowed to shake up the country's powerful bureaucracy. Instead it's bogged down in a corruption probe against key strategist Ichiro Ozawa.
Japan's Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama was criticized at home and in Washington for delaying a decision about moving a US base on Okinawa. Japanese analysts say the new prime minister is off to a slow start on several fronts.
Japan's Imperial Household initally balked at a 'last minute' request by China's visiting vice president to meet with the Emperor Akihito. The request was made 19 days ahead, instead of 30. But the meeting will take place Tuesday in Tokyo.
Japan unveiled a fresh $81 billion stimulus package Tuesday, as a rising yen hurts exports and domestic demand remains low.
Obama is expected to receive a warm welcome in South Korea, where top issues on agenda are North Korea talks and a free trade agreement.
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.