President Obama to Host Japanese Premier Aso

By Caitlin Taylor

Feb 17, 2009 8:00am

Japanese premier Taro Aso will be the first world leader President Obama hosts at the White House, ABC News has learned.

Aso will be on a working visit in Washington, DC on February 24, having been invited by President Obama via Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Clinton, in Tokyo this week as part of her tour of Asia, recently declared that the "alliance between the United States and Japan is a cornerstone of our foreign policy."

The most recent setback for the embattled Aso came with the resignation of finance minister Shoichi Nakagawa, whom critics claimed had appeared drunk earlier this week in Rome at a Group of Seven meeting.

Aso’s visit was first reported by Bloomberg News.

President Obama will make his first international trip as president when he visits Ottawa, Canada, on Thursday.

- jpt

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