First lady Jill Biden leaves the White House on Wednesday for her first solo trip abroad: to attend the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, despite the rise in COVID-19 cases.
With Tokyo under a state of emergency for the duration of the games, Biden and the official Raymond Greene of the US embassy in Tokyo are the only members of the presidential delegation, with Jill Biden leading the way.
“The President and First Lady want to support our top-level Olympic athletes and the Games while adhering to strict protocols and precautions put in place by the White House COVID team, the government of Japan and the Olympic Games to the public, athletes and the delegation safe,” the east wing said Wednesday morning.
First lady Jill Biden (right) left the White House on Wednesday for her first solo trip abroad: to attend the Tokyo Olympics, despite the rise in COVID-19 cases. Biden will be photographed Sunday and will return to the White House
Chinese athletes arrive in Tokyo earlier this week for the Olympics at Narita International Airport
In Tokyo, Biden will be greeted by Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi at Yokota Air Force Base and will dine with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and his wife, Mariko Suga, at Akasaka Palace on Thursday evening.
Mariko Suga and Biden will also spend time together at the Akasaka Palace on Friday morning, as they were unable to attend in April when the Japanese prime minister came to the White House because the Japanese first lady did not make the trip.
To mitigate any COVID risk, the first lady will then meet virtually with members of Team USA. On Monday, two Team USA athletes, alternative gymnast Kara Eaker and basketball player Katie Lou Samuelson, had already tested positive for COVID-19.
Biden will then greet Japanese Emperor Naruhito at the Imperial Palace.
In the evening, the first lady will attend the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
On Saturday, Biden will spend time at the US embassy in Tokyo.
She plans to dedicate a room in the Chief of Mission Residence to Irene Hirano Inouye and Sen. Daniel Inouye.
Irene Hirano Inouye passed away in 2020. She founded the US-Japan Council and was the group’s first president. She also served as the first Executive Director of The Japanese American National Museum in her native Los Angeles.
She was married to Daniel Inouye, who passed away in 2012 and served as a senator in Hawaii for nearly 50 years.
After the dedication, the first lady will watch the US-Mexico softball game with foreign servicemen and their families.
Biden then heads to the Olympic venues to watch various events before leaving Japan.
The first lady will be among a handful of people cheering on athletes as organizers announced earlier this month that spectators would be banned from the Olympics venues as the number of COVID-19 cases peaked in Japan.
Biden stops in Alaska on his way to the Olympics and travels through Hawaii on the way back.
In Alaska, the first lady will greet military and veteran families residing at the Alaska Fisher House at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage.
For this week’s solo outing to Japan, First Lady Jill Biden (right) attended the G7 with President Joe Biden, where she spent time with Carrie Johnson (left), wife of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and their son. Wilfred (center), in Carbis Bay, Cornwall
Highlights of the trip also included meeting Dr. Jill Biden with Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle (left) and a school tour with Kate Middleton (right)
All over the United States are Fisher Houses, which house military relatives when a relative receives medical care.
The first lady will also stop at Alaska Native Medical Center to encourage vaccination efforts in Alaska.
She will make a similar vaccine-related stop at a local high school during her stay in Honolulu.
Biden traveled with President Joe Biden last month for the first leg of his first global outing since being sworn in in January.
The first lady accompanied the president to the G7 in Cornwall, England, where she spent time with Carrie Johnson, wife of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and their son Wilfred in Carbis Bay.
Highlights also included a school tour with Kate Middleton and a meeting with Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle with her husband.