Joe Biden to Visit the Scene of the Earthquake in Japan

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will visit Japan next week, especially to the city of Sendai hit by the earthquake and tsunami, said officials on Monday.

After visits to China and Mongolia, Biden will be in Tokyo on August 22 for talks with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, before going to Sendai the next day, his national security adviser Tony Blinken told the press.

Biden will meet with civilian and military personnel who participated in the rescue after the tragedy of March 11, said the adviser. The Vice President will be the highest U.S. official to visit the scene of the disaster. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Japan in April but remained in Tokyo.

Sendai is the largest city in the area affected by the earthquake. U.S. personnel had helped restore the city’s airport, which reopened one month after being devastated by water, mud and debris carried by the tsunami.

Approximately 20 000 people died in the disaster, which also caused a severe nuclear accident at the plant in Fukushima.