US President George W. Bush arrives this weekend in a very different Asia from the one that greeted him four months ago on his Apec mission to Shanghai. Then he faced widespread support for his fledging 'new war' on terrorism in the wake of the September 11 attacks on the United States. Now the blacks and whites of that issue have merged into shades of grey and he faces fresh tests in Japan, South Korea and China, White House officials and US analysts fear. In Tokyo, he will find a nation in recession just like his own - the first time the US and Japan have been in a simultaneous slump in more than two decades. Mr Bush must demand economic stimulus beyond a mere weakening of the yen. At the same time, he will be seeking ways of putting a new shine to the fading lustre of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's reform efforts. In Seoul three days later, he faces perhaps his toughest diplomatic challenge. His inclusion of North Korea in his so-called 'axis of evil' with Iraq and Iran has sparked fear, fury and protest in a traditional US ally, one where 37,000 American troops remain on alert. Somehow he must be seen to support President Kim Dae-jung's 'sunshine policy' without watering down his intention of pressuring a recalcitrant Pyongyang on its hidden weapons programmes and links to states such as Iraq and Libya. Then, after bolstering traditional US alliances long treasured by his fellow Republicans, Mr Bush arrives in Beijing for a whirlwind summit mission with President Jiang Zemin. He must build on unprecedented co-operation in the war against terrorism, ease suspicions of a widening US military presence while increasing pressure on Beijing to curb its spread of weapons and improve human rights. And he has just over 30 hours on the ground in Beijing in which to do it. One White House official said: 'Each capital presents new challenges for us . . . we know we are going to have to finesse several key areas. This is not foreign policy by photo-op. Mr Bush will be all business. 'If there is an overall priority, it has to be the Japanese economy . . . if we can solve that through close policy co-operation it will be of sweeping strategic and economic benefit for the region. It will make everything else a lot easier.' An historic address to the Diet, the Japanese parliament, is expected to outline that co-operation, and Mr Bush's support for Mr Koizumi's efforts and Japan's controversial military reforms in the wake of September 11. Tokyo also has a big stake in Mr Bush's efforts on the Korean peninsula, given North Korea's missile tests and continued coastal tensions in the Sea of Japan. Sean McCormack, a spokesman for Mr Bush's National Security Council, confirmed that Mr Bush would express support for President Kim's reunification efforts and insist he remains open to dialogue with Pyongyang. That could prove a hard sell and Mr Bush is unlikely to move much beyond rhetoric. Balbina Hwang, a Korean analyst with the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think-tank with close ties to the Bush administration, said she had been amazed at misconceptions following Mr Bush's controversial State of the Union address. 'The President should emphasise US willingness to engage the North while maintaining caution in its own approach,' she said.