New US Ambassador Caroline Kennedy arrives at Japan!

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On October 18, our Prime Minister Abe got aboard USS Ronald Reagan offshore Yokosuka for the first time as a Japanese leader.
I thought Caroline also could be there to see him but failed to find her on TV.

On the same day, Caroline and her family joined "Sea to summit 2015" - a cross country race riding kayaks, bikes and finally hiking heading to the top of a mountain.
I have understood that she is always healthy and loves peace.
BTW, her kids speak very good Japanese. It's amazing.

Thanks David!

U.S. to speed up return of Okinawa military-held land to Japan

The U.S. government is hastening the return of some land it holds in Okinawa, seeking to soothe local resentment over the huge American military presence on the southern Japanese island. U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga announced a plan on Dec. 4 to return two sites totaling 7 hectares now controlled by U.S. bases to local authorities by the fiscal year that ends in March 2018..............................................................................


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On December 9, U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy visited the garrison of JGSDF in Itami, Hyogo Prefecture to observe the annual US-Japan joint command post exercise in which about 2,500 US Army and 4,500 JGSDF personnel participated this year. She emphasized the importance of joint exercises.

Let's pay attention to Jack who wears a suit and accompanies with his mother.
He can escort her anytime now as he lives in Japan too.


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Thank you very much for your kind comments, David :)

Here is an additional news.
On December 19, Caroline and Jack visited Gifu Prefecture to participate in All Japan High School English Debate Tournament sponsored by U.S. Embassy. They also visited a local swordsmith to observe the forging process. Jack handles a sword very carefully. That is Samurai way which I was taught by my father too.

News source: Mainichi

U.S. envoy to Japan faces criticism over Okinawa base remarks

WASHINGTON – A group of 70 Americans, including noted filmmaker Oliver Stone, on Tuesday criticized U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy for her backing of a contentious U.S.-Japan plan to relocate a Marine Corps base within Okinawa.

The U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma "must be closed, but moving it to Henoko isn't the solution," the group said in a statement referring to the bilaterally agreed but locally opposed relocation site, adding, "It merely shifts the problem to a less conspicuous location."

Kennedy told the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo last week that the plan to move the main function of the Futenma airfield from a densely populated urban area in Ginowan to a new facility in the Henoko coastal area of Nago, both in Okinawa, is "the best of any other plans that were considered."
.......................... (The Japan Times dated Dec 23)

This news was also reported by some other local papers but attracted our little attention as we hear such issues in Okinawa everyday.
No special comments from the embassy's side either. No surprise for us at all.
This has nothing to do with political issue but, in my geological viewpoint as an islander in the Pacific, I think we should imagine why people did not live in those small islands of Spratley for centuries to claim dominium.

Ocean current, typhoon, earthquake and tsunami could have not allowed people and artificial structure keep staying on the coral sand for long time. Logistics is also fatal. Even aggressive IJA/IJN did not take such risk.

One big 'natural' explosion on the seabed nearby would solve the problem after all.
Could the Chinese "build out" the Spratleys ... it would kill the coral but does the strategy of the location make a build-out worthwhile ..?
I have no exact idea about its build out, MM, but one thing I have noticed is that they are making light of the nature power in the ocean.
That certainly reminds me of an old Chinese proverb "砂上楼閣 (a castle on the sand or a house of cards)" .
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That's it, MM! :thumbright:

Our local agency which observes islands facilities says 10 meters high wave will destroy the island function.
Houses must be built at 24 meters above the sea level for the security.
On January 21, Caroline visited a world heritage Himeji Castle in Hyogo prefecture to observe.
On January 22, U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy and Japan's Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida signed revised Host Nation Support Treaty for 5 years, amounting 946,500 million yen (approx 7,887.5 million dollars) in his office.

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From Kyodo News today.

"Kishida meets with Kennedy over N. Korea's rocket launch plan

Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida meets with U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy at his ministry in Tokyo on Feb. 3, 2016. The two agreed to boost cooperative ties between Japan, the United States and South Korea in the wake of North Korea's plan to launch an earth observation satellite between Feb. 8 and Feb. 25, a move widely believed to be a de facto test-firing of a long-range ballistic missile. (Kyodo) "

Caroline Kennedy Breaks a Barrel of Sake

NEW YORK, Feb. 11, 2016 — U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy appeared at Asia Society on Thursday, touring the brand-new Kamakura: Realism and Spirituality in the Sculpture of Japan exhibition and delivering a short address. In this clip, Kennedy participates in a traditional Japanese kagami-biraki sake barrel ceremony with Asia Society President and CEO Josette Sheeran and Japanese Consul General to New York Reiichiro Takahashi.

Caroline Kennedy Breaks a Barrel of Sake

Japanese woman's gift to John F. Kennedy reciprocated by envoy daughter decades later


SAPPORO – A 93-year-old Japanese woman in Hokkaido received a doll Wednesday from U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy, who wanted to return the favor her father received from the woman more than 50 years ago.

The gift, accompanied by a letter from the ambassador, was delivered to a nursing home in Kitami on the northernmost main island where Tsuyako Matsumoto resides, in time for the March 3 hina matsuri, or the Doll Festival in Japan.

"I'm happy. This will be a lifetime memory. Thank you," a teary Matsumoto said, embracing the Kit Kittredge doll while lying in her bed. The ambassador refrained from giving the gift in person in consideration of Matsumoto's health.

The doll of the character from the popular American Girl Dolls series was in appreciation of a set of traditional Japanese hina dolls the ambassador's father, President John F. Kennedy, received at the White House.

"Her name is Kit Kittredge, and she celebrates American culture in the year 1934, when you were a girl here in Japan. Like you, she is a creative spirit with big ideas," Kennedy wrote.

The ambassador located Matsumoto with the help of Japanese media after the U.S. Consulate General in Sapporo, Hokkaido, failed to find her based on her postal address more than 50 years ago. When Kennedy visited Sapporo in February last year, she sought cooperation from the media in finding the whereabouts of the sender of the dolls her father received when she was a little girl.

In 1962, Matsumoto decided to send the colorful dolls, which wear Japanese traditional court dress, to President Kennedy after writing to him one day and unexpectedly receiving a reply expressing gratitude from a presidential secretary.

Matsumoto could not comprehend the English message so she asked a doctor at a hospital where she routinely went at the time to translate in Japanese. The reply from Washington delighted her.

At the time, she was running a grocery store in Kitami and bought a set of 15 dolls with money she earned from knitting and other side jobs. Matsumoto thought expensive Japanese dolls would be a decent gift for the U.S. president. She wondered if the dolls would surprise him.

With the help of a clerk at the department store in Kitami where she bought the dolls, Matsumoto finally shipped them to the White House.

The ambassador used to play with the Japanese dolls when she was a child and has since kept the set. The dolls, typically on display in Japanese homes for the March 3 festival, also known as Girls' Day, are now on display at the envoy's official residence in Tokyo.

"Your gift brought joy to me and to the people of America," Kennedy wrote in the letter. "I hope this gift of an American Girl Doll continues in that spirit, to promote international friendship as well as to celebrate girls and women everywhere."

The ambassador selected the 45-cm-tall doll in a flower-printed turquoise green dress.

News source


On March 29, Caroline planted a cherry tree in Brooklyn Botanic Garden, New York to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the oldest Japanese garden in the US. The garden was designed by a prominent Japanese-American garden designer Takeo Siota in 1915.


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