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Secretary Clinton arrives in Hawaii next week

By Star-Advertiser staff and news services

LAST UPDATED: 6:17 p.m. HST, Oct 22, 2010

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will visit Hawaii on Wednesday to meet with Japan’s foreign minister as the Obama administration aims to send a clear signal that the U.S. is committed to the Asia-Pacific region.

Clinton’s Hawaii stop is part of a two-week, six-nation tour of the region.

The State Department announced today that Clinton will leave next week for Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Papua-New Guinea, New Zealand and Australia. Portions of her trip will coincide with President Barack Obama’s separate visits to India, Indonesia, South Korea and Japan.

“She will begin her trip in Honolulu where she will both have a meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister (Seiji) Maehara and then deliver a speech on U.S. policy toward the Asia-Pacific region in Honolulu before continuing with her travel,” State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said at a news conference in Washington, D.C.

In Vietnam, Clinton will represent the U.S. at a summit of regional leaders before traveling to Cambodia and Malaysia to pledge U.S. solidarity with Southeast Asia. She will then move to Papua-New Guinea and New Zealand before joining Defense Secretary Robert Gates in Australia for meetings there. She returns to Washington on Nov. 8.

Due to her itinerary, Clinton will not participate in the annual foreign ministers meeting of the Asia-Pacfic Economic Cooperation forum in Japan, which precedes by just days a summit of Asia-Pacific leaders that Obama will attend in Yokohama, the State Department said.

Instead, Clinton will see Maehara during the stopover in Hawaii on her way to Vietnam, and Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg will attend the Yokohama meeting, a department spokesman said.

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