Jill Biden leaves Alaska for Tokyo Olympics

US First Lady Jill Biden has left the US state of Alaska for Japan to attend the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics on Friday.

Biden, the wife of US President Joe Biden, will represent the US government at the Games.

Before boarding a government plane on Wednesday, the First Lady told reporters she looks forward to the Games.

White House spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters on Tuesday that "the President and the First Lady felt it was important to have the delegation led at the highest level," and that Jill Biden looks forward to supporting the athletes.

Psaki was asked about the delegation, which is limited to the First Lady and US Charge d'Affaires ad interim in Japan, Raymond Greene.

She noted that the US government is closely monitoring Japan's infection situation. "Our team will be following very strict safety and health protocols, limiting engagement with the public, keeping our footprint as small as possible."

The First Lady is scheduled to arrive in Tokyo on Thursday afternoon and have dinner with Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide and his wife later in the day. She is also scheduled to meet the Emperor at the Imperial Palace on Friday.