Obama Plans Lengthy November Trip to Asia

Posted October 7, 2009 at 3:25pm

President Barack Obama plans to depart on an extensive trip to Asia just as the debate over health care reform may be entering its final stages.

Obama will depart Washington for Tokyo on Nov. 11 and will not return until the end of the following week — around Nov. 20. Congressional leaders are hoping to finish the health care legislation by Thanksgiving, which falls on Nov. 26.

Obama will begin his trip in Tokyo on Nov. 12 and then travel to Singapore for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit Nov. 13-15, according to White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

He will move on after the summit for visits to Beijing and Shanghai Nov. 15-18, holding bilateral talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao. The president will then visit Seoul, South Korea, on Nov. 18-19 and finish his travels with a visit to Indonesia on Nov. 19 or 20.