Kennedy: Serving as ambassador to Japan ‘greatest privilege of my life’

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U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy speaks during a ceremony on Okinawa recognizing the return of nearly 10,000 acres of land from U.S. Forces Japan Northern Training Area to the Japanese government, Dec. 22, 2016. (Christian Robertson/U.S. Marine)
From Stripes.com
U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy speaks during a ceremony on Okinawa recognizing the return of nearly 10,000 acres of land from U.S. Forces Japan Northern Training Area to the Japanese government, Dec. 22, 2016. (Christian Robertson/U.S. Marine)

Kennedy: Serving as ambassador to Japan ‘greatest privilege of my life’

by: Aaron Kidd | .
Stars and Stripes | .
published: January 18, 2017

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Caroline Kennedy said serving as the United States’ ambassador to Japan was her life’s “greatest privilege,” in a farewell message released this week by the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo.

President John F. Kennedy’s daughter, whose three years of service ends when President-elect Donald Trump takes the oath of office Friday, was the first woman to serve in the role.

“I want to thank Prime Minister [Shinzo] Abe and the members of his government for working to strengthen our ‘alliance of hope’ and for sharing President [Barack] Obama’s belief in the ‘power of reconciliation,’” Kennedy said in a video published on the embassy’s YouTube channel.

The outgoing envoy, who said she was nervous when presenting her credentials to Emperor Akihito in 2013, thanked Abe and Minister for Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida for sparking Obama’s historic visit to Hiroshima last year.

Kennedy then lauded Abe for paying his respects last month at the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor.

She also thanked the people of Okinawa — the small island prefecture that hosts the bulk of U.S. forces in Japan — for helping her “better understand their struggle in our shared history.” Kennedy said she was proud that the U.S. and Japan recently concluded the largest return of land to the Japanese government since 1972. Nearly 10,000 acres in northern Okinawan were handed back last month.

Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/1.449256

Click to view the farewell message from Ambassador Caroline Kennedy