• KYODO, JIJI

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President Joe Biden said Friday that U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield will represent the United States at the closing ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics on Aug. 8.

The Games’ opening ceremony on July 23 was attended by first lady Jill Biden, making it the first time since 2012 for the wife of a U.S. president to lead the country’s delegation of Olympic athletes.

Crown Prince Akishino will also attend the closing ceremony on Aug. 8, joining the event on behalf of Emperor Naruhito, honorary patron of the Games, the Imperial Household Agency said Friday.

Crown Princess Kiko will not attend the ceremony as the number of participants is limited amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the agency.

The Emperor declared the start of the Olympics at the July 23 opening ceremony in accordance with the Olympic Charter, which stipulates that the Games are proclaimed open by the head of state of the host country.

An Olympics closing ceremony can be attended by a person nominated by the head of the state, according to sources familiar with the matter.

As for the U.S. delegation, other members to attend the closing ceremony include Raymond Greene, who assumed the role of U.S. interim ambassador to Japan on July 17, according to the White House.

The post of U.S. ambassador to Japan has been vacant since July 2019. Greene was formerly deputy director of the American Institute in Taiwan, Washington’s de facto embassy.

Arrangements are underway for Emperor Naruhito, who also serves as honorary patron of the Tokyo Paralympics, to attend the Paralympics opening ceremony on Aug. 24, sources familiar with the matter said.

Emperor Hirohito, grandfather of the current emperor and posthumously known as Emperor Showa, attended the opening and closing ceremonies of the previous Tokyo Olympics in 1964 as honorary patron.

The opening and closing ceremonies of the 1964 Tokyo Paralympics were attended by Emperor Emeritus Akihito, then crown prince and honorary patron of the Paralympics.

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