U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to Japan to attend a state funeral for slain former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe later in September and underscore the role he played in the bilateral alliance, the White House said Wednesday.

Harris' visit to Japan for the Sept. 27 ceremony, which she will be attending on behalf of U.S. President Joe Biden, will be her first since she was sworn in as vice president in January 2021. She will also travel to South Korea.

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris. (Getty/Kyodo)

The trip to the United States' two closest allies in Asia will take place from Sept. 25 and 29, according to the White House.

Her visit to Japan "will honor the legacy of Prime Minister Abe and underscore the importance of his leadership in championing the alliance between the United States and Japan and advancing a free and open Indo-Pacific," it said.

Abe, Japan's longest-serving prime minister, was shot and killed on July 8 while delivering an election stump speech on a road in the western city of Nara. The assassination has sent shockwaves in and outside the country.

In both Tokyo and Seoul, Harris will meet with senior government officials and civil society representatives in a series of engagements, according to the White House.

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