Caroline Kennedy was sworn in as the new U.S. ambassador to Japan during a private ceremony in Secretary of State John Kerry’s State Department offices on November 12. The swearing-in was followed by a tea ceremony and reception at the residence of the Japanese Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae.
The appointment marks Kennedy’s first official diplomatic endeavor, though she has long played a role in U.S. politics, most recently with her endorsements of President Barack Obama in the 2008 and 2012 elections. “Japan knows that it is getting an envoy who has the ear of the president. And that, as we all know, is a vital thing in the conduct of foreign policy,” Secretary Kerry said during the reception.
The 55-year-old attorney, bestselling book editor, deft political influencer and only surviving child of President Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis arrived with her husband, Edwin Schlossberg, in Tokyo on November 15, a week before the 50th anniversary of her father’s assassination. “I bring greetings from President Obama. . . . I am honored to represent him as the United States Ambassador. I am also proud to carry forward my father’s legacy of public service,” she said.