Features and Stories

Caroline Kennedy on Her Way to Becoming US Ambassador to Japan

Caroline Kennedy on Her Way to Becoming US Ambassador to Japan
Bernadine Racoma

Caroline Kennedy is on her way to becoming an ambassador of the United States to Japan. The only daughter of former US President John F. Kennedy just sailed through a Senate hearing on Thursday that was designed to confirm her appointment to the post. Ms. Kennedy faced the questioning from Republican and Democrat senators admirably and found favor amongst the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. President Obama announced Ms. Kennedy’s appointment earlier in the summer.

Strengthening ties

Ms. Kennedy informed the Senate that she would focus her attention to military ties, trade, and student exchange with Japan if she becomes ambassador. She shared her intention to strengthen the bonds between the two democracies. Japan is a major trading partner of the United States. There are around 50,000 American troops in Japan and the country is the home of the 7th Fleet of the Navy.

A member of the diplomatic corps

Caroline Kennedy noted during the hearing that the year of her nomination to the diplomatic corps coincides with 50 years since JFK’s presidency. She said that she would be “humbled” if the appointment is confirmed. Members of the Kennedy’s family have not only served in politics but in the diplomatic corps as well. Jean Kennedy Smith, an aunt served as ambassador to Ireland while Joseph Kennedy, Sr., her grandfather served as ambassador to the United Kingdom. She added that she would be proud to carry on with the legacy of her father and her family name.

Mike Nichols, a family friend said that Ms. Kennedy is ideal for the position, having learned about diplomacy from members of her family during the course of her life. Former US Vice-President and ambassador to Japan Walter F. Mondale said that the Japanese love the Kennedys and will be happy with news of her appointment.

Staunch Obama supporter

Ms. Kennedy is a lawyer by profession. She is also a writer and editor. Like her younger brother, the late John F. Kennedy, Jr. she has removed herself from the political scene in America and instead focused on various advocacies and charitable works. Nevertheless, she was vocal of her support for Barack Obama and showed overwhelming support in his first attempt at the presidential race in 2008 and again last year. She served as a national co-chair in President Obama’s 2012 campaign for re-election and even made appearances during the campaign.

The daughter of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis is now 56 years old and has three grown children – Rose, John (Jack) and Tatiana. She married Edwin Schlossberg in 1986.

Guardian of the flame

Ms. Kennedy sits as board member of many non-profit organizations and organizations such as the NAACP Legal Defense and the Commission on Presidential Debates. She has helped in raising millions to fund schools in New York City. She also serves as the President of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation.

Last week, Ms. Kennedy swam in the Hudson River with her daughter Tatiana to raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. They were joined in the three-mile swim from Nyack to Sleepy Hollow by 160 other swimmers.

Photo Credit: Caroline Kennedy

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