VP Harris visits Japan & South Korea

September 28, 2022

We stand with our allies.

Vice President Kamala Harris. She is visiting Japan and South Korea this week on a routine trip while the nations face ongoing military pressure from China and North Korea.

Why It Matters: Vice President Harris spent the first part of the week in Japan and will arrive in South Korea on Thursday; both nations are U.S. allies. However, her visit to the Indo-Pacific countries has occurred amid increased tension with nearby China and North Korea.

  • North Korea test-launched two ballistic missiles towards South Korean waters on Wednesday. The launch, which occurred four days after a separate missile test, was initiated one day before Vice President Harris is set to meet with South Korean officials.
  • While visiting Japan, Vice President Harris attended the funeral of the former Japanese Prime Minister who was assassinated in July. She then visited a naval base near Tokyo, where she discussed China’s ongoing aggression in the region. She said, “China has challenged freedom of the seas. China has flexed its military and economic might to coerce and intimidate its neighbors. And we have witnessed disturbing behavior in the East China Sea and in the South China Sea, and most recently, provocations across the Taiwan Strait.”
  • Big Picture: Vice President Harris’ trip comes at a unique time in which the U.S. has expressed support for Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea amid ongoing tensions in the region. She shared in a tweet that the trip is intended to “reaffirm our commitments to our Allies and continue to deepen engagement in the Indo-Pacific.”

NKorea test launches missiles on eve of Harris trip to Seoul (The Associated Press)

Far From Routine, Asia Trip Presents Thorny Tests for Kamala Harris (The New York Times)

Photo Credit: Official Twitter Account of Vice President Kamala Harris

by Jenna Lee,