Economics should be the thrust of Obama's Asia tour

That will reassure the region it is indeed a top priority of the US

US President Barack Obama begins his tour of Asia this week that will see him visit Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Before Mr Obama could even set foot on Air Force One, news reports and commentators already hailed the trip as a signal of Washington's rebalancing or re-pivoting towards Asia. This perhaps needed to be trumpeted given that the president had cancelled his last planned trip to Asia in October at very short notice with his government facing a partial shutdown.

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