The State Department earlier said Tillerson, who arrives in Japan late Wednesday, wouldn't take reporters with him because he was traveling on a small plane, drawing protests from the department's correspondents association.
Cuts to the State Department budget will reportedly not be as large as originally reported.
Trump's budget proposal reflects his and his administration's disdain for diplomacy and the people that practice it, and unfortunately Tillerson appears to have no desire to make the case for the department that he now heads.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson traveled to Asia to meet China's leaders, but was accompanied by only one reporter from a conservative website.
This excuse rang hollow to members of the press corps.
Speaking in Tokyo at the start of a trip to Asia focused on the threat from North Korea, Tillerson defended the cuts as a necessary correction to a "historically high" budget that had grown to address conflicts overseas in which the United States was engaged, as well as disaster aid.
"A key component of foreign policy is being undercut by this", she added".
It is not yet clear, however whether Trump and Tillerson have significant policy differences or if he can defend his department against some of Trump's closest aides such as Steve Bannon who want to dismantle parts of the federal government and limit USA engagement with the world, said three of the current and former officials.
"He is making a very sensible calculation", said a former US official, noting that Congress, not the president, holds the purse strings.
"The State Department is the beacon of press freedom around the world".
"I covered State for more than nine years".
"President Trump has the utmost confidence in the Secretary of State and looks forward to Mr. Tillerson implementing a bold agenda to revitalize American foreign policy", Anton said.
Tillerson, who became the top USA diplomat under Republican President Donald Trump in February, traveled to Mexico and Germany last month with a small contingent of journalists, including a "pool" reporter who informed colleagues of Tillerson's statements or actions.