Harris to lead ex-PM Abe’s funeral party

A White House official said: “Her visit honors Abe’s legacy, upholds the Japan-U.S. alliance, and underscores the importance of his leadership in advancing a free and open Indo-Pacific. right.

Additional members of the delegation will be announced at a later date, the official added. Local media in Asia reported last month that US officials had begun preparations for the vice president’s visit.

Harris will be in Asia from September 25th to 29th, first in Tokyo, Japan and then in Seoul, South Korea.

At both locations, Harris will “meet with government officials and civil society representatives in a series of engagements that highlight the strength of the U.S. alliance with Japan and South Korea,” the official said.

A source familiar with the plan told CNN that Harris plans to meet with both Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Seok-yeol.

According to sources, President Joe Biden asked Harris to lead the delegation.

Abe, 67, died in July. Taken during election speech On the streets of Nara. Biden mourned his death at the time, saying he was “stunned, outraged and deeply saddened.” by the news of his “friend”‘s death.

“Above all, [Abe] He cared deeply about the Japanese people and devoted his life to serving them. Even at the moment he was attacked, he was on the job of democracy: two days after his death, he visited the Japanese embassy and signed a condolence letter later the same day.

This is the second visit to Asia by the Vice President since taking office. Harris is the first black and South Asian woman to have an office in the United States.

In August 2021, Harris visited Southeast Asia in the midst of the administration’s first major foreign policy crisis after the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. And her departure from Singapore for her second destination in Vietnam was delayed by several hours after her office was informed of “recent reports of possible unusual health problems”. It’s how the government usually refers to the mysterious Havana Syndrome that has plagued hundreds of US officials over the past few years.

Harris has strengthened ties with regional partners and hosted a series of events focused on regional security issues amid concerns over China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea. Economic priorities, including supply chain issues such as global chip production. climate change; and the Covid-19 pandemic. Her sources believe her visit will build on the significant work done on her first visit and another foray onto the world stage, sources told CNN. Told.

In addition to Asia, Harris has traveled to Latin America and Europe many times. She has also engaged with over 100 world leaders during her tenure.

Biden even stepped into Asia in early 2022 and used a high-level summit of Indo-Pacific leaders to warn China about its stance on Taiwan. Since his visit, tensions have continued to rise in US-China relations. After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taipei, China held military exercises that virtually surrounded Taiwan for several days in his August.

Biden was under pressure last weekend about whether Chinese President Xi Jinping would meet at the G20 summit in Indonesia later this year, saying, “If he’s there, I’m sure I’ll see him. I am,” he told reporters.

But speaking of Harris’ visit later this month, a White House official said her event was “an enduring commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific, and a shared economic and security framework in the region and around the world.” He said it would be an indication of “protective interest.”

Source: www.cnn.com

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