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.
Japan has offered $5 billion in nonmilitary aid to Afghanistan as it ends refueling mission for US forces. Some say that's more in line with Japan's pacifist Constitution – others see a copout.
As China rises and the dollar falls, the US ally seeks more independence, but not less security, from America. Tokyo is the first stop on the president's Asia tour.
But questions over a US role in any economic grouping and rivalry between China and Japan may thwart a rapid rollout of either plan.
American Christopher Savoie was arrested Sept. 28 in Japan after trying to get his children back from his ex-wife. The case has underscored widely different views in the US and Japan of parental rights and child-rearing.