The new U.S. Assistant Secretary of State of East Asian and Pacific Affairs is starting his first overseas trip... since assuming the role last month.
David Stilwell is touring Asia... and his trip takes him to South Korea and Japan as they remain at odds over Tokyo's exports curbs.
Stilwell will be in Tokyo from Thursday until Sunday.
He'll arrive in Seoul next Wednesday.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he's looking forward to working closely with Stillwell in leading many critical partnerships throughout the region.
The State Department has been keen to avoid the impression Stillwell is taking sides between South Korea and Japan.
Seoul's foreign affairs minister Kang Kyung-wha and Pompeo spoke over the phone just hours ago, where they discussed Japan's export restrictions on South Korea.