Jill Biden Will Represent The US At The Tokyo Olympics — To Take Diplomatic Meetings
First Lady Jill Biden — and not any official employee of the US government nor a member of the American diplomatic corps — will reportedly be attending the opening ceremonies of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo to represent the United States.
The Olympics are scheduled to begin on July 23 until August 8 in Japan.
The Japan News reported that Jill Biden is expected to lead the American delegation and President Joe Biden or Vice President Kamala Harris will not be attending the ceremonies. While there, the first lady will also take “scheduled diplomatic meetings” with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.
“US President Joe Biden himself will not be attending the ceremony, but the dispatching of his wife in his place sends a message of the importance of the relationship with Japan,” the Japanese media reported on Monday.
“Jill Biden made her diplomatic debut; earlier this month when she accompanied her husband at the Group of Seven summit in England. The Bidens met with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife and other leaders,” it added.
Reports noted that the difference, however, is that Jill Biden attended the G7 as the partner of President Biden — a world leader — rather than as an “active participant” herself. Partners at the G7 were also expected to meet together in informal settings during the June 11-13 summit in Cornwall, United Kingdom contrary to the Olympics where the first lady will be attending the diplomatic meetings herself.
“She may have visited with the Queen and members of the Royal Family and interacted with other wives and husbands of foreign leaders, but she was not present at the G7 as a chief diplomat,” The Daily Wire wrote.
It added that instead of Jill Biden, the “natural choice” to send to the Olympics to represent the country should have been VP Harris or Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Reports noted that in 2012, then-First Lady Michelle Obama also attended the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games in the United Kingdom, but it does not appear that she participated or held any official meetings on behalf of her husband, former President Barack Obama, nor acted as a chief envoy.
Jill Biden’s task to attend the Olympics is seen by observers as a response to Harris’ “poor” performance in the several appointments initially assigned to her by President Biden — including handling the border crisis. She was also earlier tapped to lead White House efforts to expand voting rights.
While Jill Biden and VP Harris are “not the best of friends,” The Wire noted that the vice president “should still receive precedence over a non-member of the Biden administration when it comes to global diplomatic events.”
“Kamala was, at one time, tasked with heading up diplomatic relations with Japan, welcoming the Prime Minister to the White House in one of the first state visits in the Biden administration,” The New York Times said.
She was also in-charge of making calls with world leaders earlier into Biden’s administration which was perceived to be “an unusually larger role” in the country’s foreign policy compared to previous vice president’s.
Harris spoke with the prime minister of Norway, Erna Solberg, as well as French President Emanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as well as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in separate occasions earlier.
However, Harris’ first international trip, touring the Northern Triangle countries and speaking to heads of state in Guatemala and Mexico about the “root causes” of the unprecedented migration to the US — “was widely considered to be a failure,” which reports noted could justify why she is being sidelined for now, in favor of Jill Biden.
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