The newly appointed United States Ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy, is set to arrive in Japan on Friday to formally assume her post and become the first woman to ever do so. Kennedy is the daughter of former U.S President John F. Kennedy and one of the staunchest supporters of current president Barack Obama.
Kennedy is set to arrive at the Narita International Airport Friday afternoon and on Tuesday next week, she will be presenting her credentials to Emperor Akihito to formally start her envoy duties. In keeping with tradition and as arranged by the Imperial Household Agency, she will be arriving in a horse-drawn carriage at the Imperial Palace. She was sworn in earlier this week by Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington. Despite her not having any diplomatic experience and with no special expertise about one of the U.S.’ closest allies, she did not have any problems getting the approval of the Congress when she was nominated by Obama for the position. The ambassadorship to Japan is a key position especially as the world superpower turns its focus to the East in what is known as its “pivot to Asia.”
She will be facing such issues as the realignment of the U.S military forces in the Asia-Pacific region, amidst strong opposition from the local government of Okinawa, which hosts the forces in Japan. Pundits also say she will be asked to focus on matters like the ongoing U.S-led Trans Pacific Partnership free trade talks, of which Japan was the last country to join. Of utmost importance also is the strained ties of the East Asian powerhouse with its neighbours China and South Korea, the latter being another of the U.S’ allies in the region.
[ via Global Post ]