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Olympics Jill Biden leads U.S. delegation to Tokyo Games amid pandemic fears

Olympics Jill Biden leads U.S. delegation to Tokyo Games amid pandemic fears

7/21/2021 9:20:00 PM

Oly mpics Jill Biden leads U.S. delegation to Tokyo Games amid pandemic fears

First Lady Jill Biden will lead the U.S. diplomatic delegation to the Tokyo 2020 Oly mpics, sending a message of support to a key Asian ally despite concerns about the COVID -19 pandemic.

But U.S. President Joe Biden sees the pandemic-postponed Games as a critical moment to show support for a longtime ally and trading partner, who he hopes will support U.S. efforts to check China's rise, aides said.Biden will arrive in Tokyo on Thursday afternoon before having dinner with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and his wife Mariko Suga at Akasaka Palace, according to her spokesman.

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On the way, Biden plans to stop in Alaska to greet military families and encourage vaccination.Suga is meeting with only about 15 world leaders on the sidelines of the Olympics, compared with up to 120 previously, a spokesperson said. President Biden hosted Suga at the White House in April.

read moreThe Olympics trip is the first lady's first solo adventure abroad and will include three days on the ground in Japan.She plans to attend the opening ceremony on Friday, as well as meet with Team USA athletes, U.S. foreign service officers and Japanese Emperor Naruhito.

Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; Editing by Aurora EllisOur Standards:More from ReutersSign up for our newsletterSubscribe for our daily curated newsletter to receive the latest exclusive Reuters coverage delivered to your inbox. Read more: Reuters Top News »

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