The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan


December 2013
Caroline Kennedy begins her tenure here

Confirmed as Ambassador of the United States to Japan on October 16, Caroline Kennedy arrived here on November 15, and presented her credentials to Emperor Akihito at a ceremony on November 19.

In the below excerpt from a press release issued by the ACCJ on November 15, the chamber welcomed Ambassador Kennedy.

“Since its founding 65 years ago, the ACCJ has valued its close relationship with the US embassy. We welcome Ambassador Kennedy to Japan and look forward to working with her to strengthen commercial and other ties between the United States and Japan at this critical time, as our countries look for opportunities to lead in this economically vibrant region of the world,” said ACCJ President Laurence W. Bates.

“Ambassador Kennedy is coming at a very exciting time in the bilateral relationship with so much focus here on both countries’ participation in the TPP negotiations. Further, with the reinvigoration of growth a key objective for both the ACCJ, in our theme of ‘Achieving Growth Together,’ and the Abe administration in the third arrow of Abenomics, we look forward to engaging with Ambassador Kennedy, the embassy and the Japanese government as we collaboratively seek the most effective means to achieving sustained growth,” said Bates.

Equally, Ambassador Kennedy is looking forward to working with the ACCJ and the American business community here.

Below is her introductory address that was published on the US embassy website on November 13.

“I’m deeply honored that President Obama has asked me to serve as the United States Ambassador to Japan. Growing up in a family dedicated to public service, I saw how people can come together to solve challenges through commitment, communication and cooperation.

“That’s something I’ve tried to do in my own life as well.

“As ambassador, I look forward to fostering the deep friendship, strategic alliance, and economic partnership between our countries.

“I am fortunate to have studied Japanese history and culture and to have visited your beautiful country. When I was 20, I accompanied my uncle, Senator Edward Kennedy, on a trip to Hiroshima. It left me with a profound desire to work for a better, more peaceful world. A few years later my husband, Ed, and I returned to Nara and Kyoto on our honeymoon.

“Since that time, I’ve seen firsthand how American and Japanese people are bound by common values. We share a commitment to freedom, human rights, and the rule of law. My goal as ambassador is to build on the proud traditions of mutual respect and close partnership. I look forward to learning more and to making new friends.

“As an author, educator, and attorney, and as a mother, I’ve learned that we are all teachers and students in our own lives, and we can transform the world by helping one another. Ed and I have tried to pass this on to our three children; Rose, Tatiana and Jack.

“I am humbled by the opportunity to represent the United States to one of our greatest allies and closest friends. Together, our two countries have done much good for the world—and we can do so much more.”