First Lady Jill Biden to meet Emperor and Prime Minister of Japan
First lady Jill biden is scheduled to meet with the Emperor and Prime Minister of Japan later this week and come face to face with Tokyo-based US diplomats as she leads the US delegation to the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics in a state of emergency due to a peak in COVID-19[female[feminine case.
The White House announced the first lady’s itinerary on Wednesday morning as she embarks on a trip that is also expected to take her to Alaska and Hawaii to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations.
Administration officials have said in recent days that there are no plans to cancel or cut back on Biden’s trip amid a spike in cases around Tokyo and positive test results for a handful of ‘American athletes and dozens of other competitors. The president of the Japanese Olympic organizing committee did not rule out Tuesday cancel games if the The wave of COVID-19 continues. The organizing committee and the Japanese government have already banned spectators from attending the competitions, but say some VIP groups will be able to attend in person.
The first lady is one of them, according to the White House.
Later Wednesday, she is expected to stop in Alaska, where she plans to meet with military and veteran families and visit an Anchorage hospital to encourage vaccinations against COVID-19.
On Thursday, she is due to land in Tokyo and will be greeted by the Japanese Foreign Minister before having dinner with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and his wife, Mariko Suga, at the Prime Minister’s Palace.
On Friday, Biden is expected to hold a virtual meeting with members of Team USA before meeting Emperor Naruhito of Japan at the Imperial Palace. She is due to attend the opening ceremony as head of the US delegation on Friday night in Tokyo, 13 hours ahead of the US east coast.
On Saturday, the first lady will travel to the U.S. Embassy and the Chef de Mission’s residence for meetings with U.S. diplomats, including a night before the U.S. vs. Mexico softball game and she plans to d ” attend some Olympic events in person.
On his way back to the continental United States, Biden is expected to stop in Honolulu late Saturday and Sunday and visit a high school vaccination clinic, the White House said.
Responding to questions about travel plans on Tuesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the first lady’s delegation “would follow very strict health and safety protocols, limiting engagement with the public, keeping our footprint as small as possible “.
Michael LaRosa, the first lady’s press secretary, told CBS News that current travel plans adhere to these strict protocols.
“The Government of Japan and the IOC have very strict protocols. They take careful precautions to keep athletes and the public safe and healthy,” said LaRosa. “Our team has remained in close contact with the Japanese authorities throughout the planning process and we are confident in the security measures in place.”