Obama to nominate Caroline Kennedy as ambassador to Japan
July 24th, 2013
03:54 PM ET
1 year ago

Obama to nominate Caroline Kennedy as ambassador to Japan

Updated 5:14 p.m. ET on 7/24

(CNN) – Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of former President John F. Kennedy and a prominent Democratic backer, was nominated by President Barack Obama Wednesday to serve as U.S. ambassador to Japan.

She would become the first woman to hold the post if she's confirmed by the U.S. Senate. A top supporter of Obama's, she served as the co-chair of his vice presidential search committee in 2008.

CNN first reported in April that Kennedy had been asked to serve as ambassador and was being vetted for the role.

She's the only surviving member of JFK's immediate family and has largely shunned the limelight and scrutiny associated with her famous last name. After publicly expressing interest in running for the U.S. Senate seat in New York vacated when Hillary Clinton became secretary of state in 2009, she ultimately decided against making a bid, citing "personal reasons."

She made speeches at the 2008 and 2012 Democratic National Conventions, both times recalling her famous relatives – in 2008, her speech served as a tribute to her uncle, Sen. Ted Kennedy, and in 2012 she noted that "like my father's election in 1960, this is one of those elections where the future of our country is at stake."

After receiving degrees at Harvard and Columbia, Kennedy served in a variety of roles at New York non-profits, including the John F. Kennedy Library and the American Ballet Theatre.

The current U.S. ambassador to Japan is John Roos, who assumed the role in 2009. He was the first American ambassador to attend commemoration ceremonies for the American atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He also led America's embassy through the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and the ensuing nuclear aftermath.

The United States is Japan's largest economic partner as well as a military ally. The U.S. military presence on Japan's Okinawa Island has remained a point of diplomatic tension between the two nations. Some of the island's residents have complained about noise from the base, in an urban area. Many others were incensed by the misconduct of U.S. troops stationed there, including the 1995 rape of 12-year-old Japanese girl by three U.S. military personnel.

Opposition to the presence of U.S. troops in Okinawa runs so deep that it contributed to the resignation of former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama in 2010. He had promised to move the base but later announced that the base would stay, a decision he called "heartbreaking."


Filed under: Caroline Kennedy
soundoff (94 Responses)
  1. Bob

    Yeah, another win for our US monarchy.

    Another anointed one who doesn't represent anyone in the US but our wealthy elite. Eat your cake Americans.

    July 24, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  2. Red White And Blue

    Nice woman.

    July 24, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  3. drh1214

    The US Royal Family.

    July 24, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  4. Truth

    Another political payout; no experience necessary...

    July 24, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  5. Dom

    Uh, another liberal, no thanks Barry.

    July 24, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  6. dashguy

    good choice!

    July 24, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  7. Reasonably

    Whooop-dee-doo. Not like it's going to be a tough posting.

    Zzzz...next.

    July 24, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  8. berto

    ...speaking of Royal babies....

    July 24, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  9. straighttalk

    That is the politics in Washington. You give me and I give you and fu.. the rest of the people in this Nation. That is why nothing works in Washington.

    July 24, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  10. Alex Schmidt

    Excellent choice! She would represent the US very well.

    July 24, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  11. Rose Anaemereibe

    Very good choice. I hope she honors.

    July 24, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  12. bluedogboy

    Whining about the Kennedy's will commence in 3....2.....1......

    July 24, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  13. Jack

    Outstanding. A very smart lady.

    July 24, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  14. Data Driven

    Looking forward to the strettttttch in logic as to why this is horrible. C'mon conservatives, don't let me down.

    July 24, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  15. Mike

    Alright, Sweet Caroline. Glad to see her appointed as ambassador.

    July 24, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  16. John Tater

    Hope she has a good DCM.

    July 24, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  17. Matthew

    Totally qualified because of her last name. American royalty. Puke.

    July 24, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  18. John Tater

    Not horrible, it's just that she has not been impressive. I believe she gave up the Senate race because she saw it was beyond her capabilities.

    July 24, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  19. reasonablebe

    she has shunned the limelight, is a private person, so we know little about her. her education indicates she is extremely bright and well educated. no idea how she will do.

    July 24, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  20. fed up

    Why does this woman keep popping up in political circles for jobs she has no business being nominated .She may be famous for her name so in that case why not nominate a Trump or Hilton for ambassador. When will our government exercise some intelligence in nominating its representatives.

    July 24, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  21. sly

    Excellant choice. Time to end the Rule of the Rich White Man. The most important thing about President Obama is that he is NOT a Rich White Man, ending over 400 years of White Supremacy in America.

    America will be enjoying these 8 years of President Obama for the next quarter century.

    July 24, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  22. Why Doyouneed2know

    And her prior experience as a diplomat includes ...?

    July 24, 2013 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  23. db

    Let's see here, Kennedy, Clinton, Bush, Obama royal families of America or what is left of it after they finished it off. Who will be the next anointed person of the Royals to fill the POTUS position to continue to destroy the USA?

    July 24, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  24. Ron

    The Obama presidency is all about celebrity, nothing about competence. Caroline Kennedy has no credentials in business,
    defense, nor diplomacy. Were she not a Kennedy, Obama would not have nominated her.

    Obama is the worst president in my lifetime. I was born in 1951.

    July 24, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  25. jonusb

    Rats. I was really looking forward to responding to all the "oh no, not another Kennedy in politics" comments here by the Right-wing conspiracy theorists..

    July 24, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
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