The Rising East: Caroline Kennedy To be U.S. Ambassador to Japan?

The rumor mills in Washington and Tokyo are alive these days with speculation that President Obama will nominate Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy, to be the next American ambassador to Japan.

Curiously, the prospective nomination has been mildly controversial, with critics arguing that Ms. Kennedy has had little diplomatic experience and has no particular knowledge of Japan nor of the issues in U.S. security and economic relations with Tokyo.

Her defenders, who contend that an ambassador’s political connections in Washington are critical, point out that Ms. Kennedy is well known to the president, having held senior positions in his election campaigns. She is also well known to Secretary of State John Kerry, the former senator from Massachusetts, the Kennedy clan’s political base.

Perhaps most of all, the Kennedy name is magic in Japan.

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