Kamala Harris’s whirlwind tour of Japan and South Korea this week amounts to a microcosm of the state of her vice presidency: an ambitious, historic and increasingly confident effort still beset by the occasional high-profile gaffe.

In Japan, Harris stood alongside other world leaders at the state funeral for Shinzo Abe, the former prime minister whose assassination at a campaign event rattled a key American ally.

She delivered a carefully calibrated denunciation of China from the deck of a U.S. warship intended to reassure allies — without deepening a rift with Beijing that U.S. President Joe Biden has widened with explicit pledges to defend Taiwan from an invasion.