US First Lady Jill Biden is leading her country’s diplomatic delegation to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, sending a message of support to a key Asian ally despite concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dressed in a red dress and face mask, Biden arrived at Yokota Air Base in Japan on Thursday afternoon and was received by Japan’s foreign minister and US and Japanese base officials at the start of a long trip to Japan.
The sporting spectacle has continued despite public protests across the country for the Olympics and Japanese officials hosting large numbers of athletes, staff and media – more than 11,000 in the athletes’ village alone – dozens of whom have already tested positive for COVID-19. have tested.
But President Joe Biden sees the pandemic-postponed Games as an important moment to show support for the longtime ally and trading partner, who he hopes will support US efforts to stem the rise of China, allies. he said.
In the evening Biden had dinner with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and his wife, Mariko Suga, their convoy pulling people into the ornate Akasaka Palace after taking photographs.
Suga is meeting with only 15 world leaders during the Olympics, compared to initial expectations of 120. President Biden hosted Suga at the White House in April.
The Olympic Tour is the first woman’s first solo adventure abroad and will include three days on land in Japan.
She plans to attend the opening ceremony on Friday, as well as meet with Team USA athletes, US Foreign Service officials and Japanese Emperor Naruhito.
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