Caroline Kennedy’s Message to the People of Japan

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An image from U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy's video. (U.S. Embassy/Tokyo)

An image from U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy’s video. (U.S. Embassy/Tokyo)

TOKYO — Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy, was sworn in as U.S. ambassador to Japan on Nov. 12.

The U.S. Embassy in Tokyo released a video, with Japanese subtitles, of Kennedy introducing herself to the Japanese people. She speaks of her longtime connection to Japan and the relationship between the two countries, and even speaks a little Japanese at the end.

Kennedy, 55, the first female U.S. envoy to Japan, succeeds John Roos. On Nov. 19, she rode through the streets of Tokyo in a horse-drawn carriage, with cheering crowds lining the streets, to the Imperial Palace, where she presented her credentials to Emperor Akihito.

Following is a transcript of the video.

Hi. I’m Caroline Kennedy. Welcome to my home in New York City.

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’m fortunate to have studied Japanese history and culture, and to have visited your beautiful country. When I was 20, I accompanied my uncle, Sen. 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 first-hand 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 upon 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’m 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.

Thank you. Nihon de oaishimashou (See you in Japan).

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