On Saturday, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio will begin a week-long trip to Asia that will include visits to Japan, the Philippines, and South Korea. During the trip, Rubio, the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s East Asian and Pacific Affairs Subcommittee, will meet with U.S. officials and foreign leaders in the region to discuss critical economic and security issues.
“Asia is vitally important to the future of America’s security and economic well-being,” Rubio said. “America must make sure that our rhetoric about increasing our presence in Asia does not come at the expense of enduring alliances and challenges in other parts of the world. The fact is that the United States has long been a Pacific power and it is vital that we maintain our robust military and diplomatic presence in the region while adapting to new realities.”
This is Rubio’s first visit to Asia. Rubio’s trip will begin with a visit to Japan on Monday and Tuesday next week. While in Japan, Rubio is scheduled to meet with senior Japanese government and military officials, including Prime Minister Abe, the new U.S. Ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy, and U.S. military service members serving in Japan.
On Wednesday, Rubio will review ongoing typhoon recovery efforts and visit with government officials in the Philippines, including President Aquino. Rubio will then travel to South Korea on Thursdayto meet with U.S. troops, visit the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), and meet with senior government officials, including President Park. On Friday, Rubio will speak about U.S. foreign policy in Asia at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies in Seoul.
In an interview about the trip with Japan’s NHK World TV this week, Rubio said that during his trip he would emphasize the U.S.’s commitment to the region and interest in strengthening bilateral ties with our treaty allies. You can watch the interview here.