U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris announced Wednesday that she will travel to Japan to lead the U.S. delegation to the state funeral of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which will take place on September 27.
The United States thus wants to honor “Prime Minister Abe’s legacy” and underscore “the importance of his leadership in upholding the U.S.-Japan alliance and advancing a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the White House said in a statement.
The other members of the U.S. delegation will be announced at a later date, although Harris will initially attend on behalf of President Joe Biden.
Abe was shot on July 8 during a campaign rally. The self-confessed killer, arrested at the scene of the crime, had targeted the politician for encouraging a religious group that ended up ruining his mother because of the excessive donations she gave them.
However, the number two of the U.S. government will visit other countries in the region, such as South Korea, to meet with high-ranking officials such as President Yoon Suk Yeol.
“In both Tokyo and Seoul, the Vice President will meet with senior government officials and civil society representatives in a series of engagements that will highlight the strength of U.S. alliances with Japan and the Republic of Korea, our enduring commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific, and our shared economic and security interests in the region and around the world,” the missive reads.