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The Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi on Thursday, arrived in Japan for the final stop on her Asian tour, following a visit to Taiwan that has infuriated China.
In footage obtained by Africa Daily News, New York the politician was seen disembarking from her plane at Yokota Air Base in Tokyo, before greeting the US ambassador and other officials with hugs and handshakes.
In an apparent reaction, Beijing had on Wednesday launched large-scale military drills in the waters around Taiwan after Pelosi this week became the highest-profile elected US official to set foot on the self-ruled island in 25 years.
The 82-year-old politician defied a series of stern threats from China to meet Taiwanese leaders on Wednesday, positing that her trip made it ‘unequivocally clear’ that the United States would not abandon a democratic ally.
Africa Daily News, New York reports that it is Pelosi’s first trip to Japan since 2015, and she arrived from South Korea where her schedule included a visit to the border with nuclear-armed North Korea.
She will meet Prime Minister Fumio Kishida for breakfast on Friday, Japan’s foreign ministry said, to discuss the two countries’ alliance and issues of shared interest.
Pelosi is also scheduled to discuss international affairs with Japan’s House of Representatives speaker Hiroyuki Hosoda.
Japan, a key US ally, has lodged a diplomatic protest with China over its massive military exercises encircling Taiwan, which began on Thursday.
Just before Pelosi’s arrival, Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi said five ballistic missiles fired by China were believed to have landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone.
Parts of Japan’s southernmost island region Okinawa are close to Taiwan, as are islets at the centre of a long-running dispute between Tokyo and Beijing.