US President Barack Obama. Pic: AP.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama plans to visit Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines in April.

The White House says Obama’s trip is part of his commitment to increasing U.S. engagement in the Asia-Pacific region.

Obama plans to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, South Korean President Park Geun-hye, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and Philippine President Benigno Aquino III.

Obama has sought to rebalance U.S. diplomatic and military resources toward Asia as China and other countries in the region gain clout and economic power.

Free-trade agreements and U.S. defense treaties with Asian nations will also be on the agenda for the trip.

Last year, Obama canceled an Asia trip that included stops in Malaysia and the Philippines because of a U.S. government shutdown.

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