Vice-President Kamala Harris will represent the US at Shinzo Abe’s state funeral in Japan, before heading to other Asian countries.
Ceremony and controversy await US VP Harris during visit to Asia
Attending funerals on behalf of the United States is normally a straightforward assignment for a vice president, but Kamala Harris will confront controversy at nearly every turn as she visits Asia for the memorial honoring former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
American allies are seeking clarity after mixed messages over whether President Joe Biden would send troops to defend Taiwan from a Chinese invasion, a potential conflict that could swiftly engulf the rest of the region. There’s the potential for more provocations from North Korea, which test-fired a missile shortly before Harris’ departure Sunday from Washington.
Meanwhile, South Korea and Japan are inching toward a reconciliation that would heal some of the wounds left from World War II, with the US gingerly trying to nudge along the process. And there’s resentment over a new US law that makes electric vehicles built outside of North America ineligible for subsidies.
Even Abe’s state funeral on Tuesday itself is a sensitive topic in Japan, where such memorials are uncommon and the late leader’s legacy remains disputed.