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V.P. Harris to make first trip to Japan for Abe funeral

Aug. 14, 2022 Updated Sun., Aug. 14, 2022 at 11:27 a.m.

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff arrive before President Joe Biden signs into law the CHIPS and Science Act during a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022.    (Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff arrive before President Joe Biden signs into law the CHIPS and Science Act during a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022.   (Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)
The Washington Post

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris is set to visit Japan to attend the state funeral for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe scheduled for Sept. 27, sources in the Japanese government told The Yomiuri Shimbun. If realized, it will be her first visit to Japan since taking office.

It is significant that the vice president will attend the ceremony in place of President Joe Biden, whose has a scheduling conflict.

As Abe made efforts to strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance, including enacting security-related laws, the Biden administration aims to show its appreciation for the former prime minister’s diplomatic achievements and underscore the importance of the Japan-U.S. relationship.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is expected to meet with Harris and exchange views with her on the role the two countries play to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

Harris, whose mother emigrated from India, is the first Asian American to be elected U.S. vice president.

“(Former) Prime Minister Abe was a great friend of the United States,” Harris said upon learning the news of his death.

Abe was shot on July 8 while making a campaign speech in Nara and died hours later.

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