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Kamala Harris meets Anthony Albanese ahead of Shinzo Abe funeral in Tokyo

When Kamala met Albo: US Vice-President praises Anthony Albanese with a single word – and then stresses she meant it in a good way – as the two come together for the first time

  • Kamala Harris described Anthony Albanese as ‘ambitious’ during first meeting 
  • She said her comment was made in ‘admiration’ of Aussie PM’s climate policies 
  • The two leaders met ahead of the state funeral of ex Japanese PM Shinzo Abe 

Kamala Harris described Anthony Albanese as ‘ambitious’ as they met for the first time today – before stressing that her comment was made with ‘admiration’.

The leaders met in Tokyo ahead of the state funeral of former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, who was assassinated in July.

Mr Albanese thanked the US for its support in the Indo-Pacific while the US Vice-President pledged to work towards the ‘combined goal of peace and security’ in the region.

However, in a potentially tricky moment, Ms Harris also said Mr Albanese’s climate goals were ‘ambitious’ before insisting that his commitment to more aggressive climate action was a ‘foot forward’.

She lauded Australia’s new emissions reduction target, saying Mr Albanese ‘received admiration’ for his climate goals.

The leaders met in Tokyo ahead of the state funeral of former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, who was assassinated in July

Mr Albanese thanked the US for its interest in the region before adding: 'We live in uncertain times, there is strategic competition. It is something we are very conscious of in the Pacific'

Mr Albanese thanked the US for its interest in the region before adding: ‘We live in uncertain times, there is strategic competition. It is something we are very conscious of in the Pacific’

The US recently passed the Inflation Reduction Act, providing hundreds of billions of dollars on climate action.

‘We believe the combination of the two will accelerate the work our two nations can do,’ she told the prime minister.

‘That will be to the benefit of the people of our two nations and the benefit to people around the world.’

Responding, Mr Albanese thanked the US for its interest in the region before adding: ‘We live in uncertain times, there is strategic competition. It is something we are very conscious of in the Pacific.’

Speaking at the start of a bilateral meeting with Mr Kishida, Mr Albanese said Australia and Japan were working towards a free and open Indo-Pacific.

‘(It) is so important we continue to work together and to work with our partners as well to advance the common interest,’ he said.

Mr Albanese offered his condolences for the death of Mr Abe, saying there was a high-level attendance from Australia ‘to pay our respects and show our respects to not just his family but to the people of Japan’.

Mr Albanese is in Tokyo with former prime ministers John Howard, Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull for the state funeral for Mr Abe who was assassinated in July.

Mr Albanese thanked the US for its support for the Indo-Pacific while Ms Harris pledged to work towards the 'combined goal of peace and security' in the region

Mr Albanese thanked the US for its support for the Indo-Pacific while Ms Harris pledged to work towards the ‘combined goal of peace and security’ in the region

In a potentially tricky moment, Ms Harris also said Mr Albanese's climate goals were 'ambitious' before insisting that his commitment to more aggressive climate action was a 'foot forward'

In a potentially tricky moment, Ms Harris also said Mr Albanese’s climate goals were ‘ambitious’ before insisting that his commitment to more aggressive climate action was a ‘foot forward’

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape also travelled with Mr Albanese.

‘We are here to celebrate the life of Shinzo Abe. The tragic circumstances of this assassination is something which reverberated around the world,’ Mr Albanese told reporters in Tokyo.

‘I’m here with three former prime ministers. What that says is how important the relationship between Australia and Japan is but it also says how important the respect is and the standing Shinzo Abe had.’

Mr Abe was Japan’s longest serving prime minister, from 2006 to 2007 and 2012 to 2020.

He was instrumental in elevating Australia’s relationship with Japan to a special strategic partnership and central to the formation of the Quad partnership involving his country, Australia, India and the US.

His funeral will take place at the Nippon Budokan.

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