The secretary of state learned Friday while flying from Japan to Indonesia that he would lead heavyweight U.S. delegations to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum in Bali and the East Asia Summit in Brunei.
Kerry had been in Tokyo for security talks and was already planning to attend both meetings but only in a supporting role for Obama. He found out earlier in the week that he would be visiting Malaysia and the Philippines in Obama's stead next week.
Obama cancelled his Asia tour to deal with the government shutdown in Washington.
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