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The first state visit to Japan by a US President in nearly two decades gets under way in earnest Thursday when Barack Obama is treated to the pomp and ceremony of an imperial reception. Obama, whose arrival in Tokyo on Wednesday evening brought parts of the Japanese capital shuddering to a halt amid tight security, will be hoping to capitalise on the enthusiastic welcome he received to shore up the cross-Pacific alliance at a time of uncertainty in Asia. The president will open his day Thursday with a welcoming ceremony at Japan's imperial palace hosted by Emperor Akihito. After talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe he will tour the Meiji Jingu shrine and be guest of honour at a state dinner.
Apple on Wednesday said that it plans to buy back an additional $30 billion worth of shares and split its stock. The moves backed by the Apple board were announced as the California company reported a profit of $10.2 billion on $45.6 billion in revenue in the first three months of this year. The earnings figures came with Apple chief Tim Cook hinting that new products are on the way from the maker of iPhones, iPads, iPods, and Macintosh computers. "We’re eagerly looking forward to introducing more new products and services that only Apple could bring to market."