Kennedy to present credentials to Emperor on Nov. 19

Kyodo

New U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy is scheduled to present her credentials to Emperor Akihito on Nov. 19, a Japanese government source said Tuesday, marking the formal start of her duty as envoy.

Japan is banking on Kennedy, the daughter of former President John F. Kennedy, to bolster ties between Tokyo and its most important ally, the source said.

A source close to Japan-U.S. relations has described Kennedy as someone who can get President Barack Obama on the phone at any time.

Bearing that in mind, the Japanese government is keen to arrange the first meeting between her and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as soon as possible, the government source said.

For next week’s ceremony, Kennedy will arrive at the Imperial Palace in a horse-drawn carriage arranged by the Imperial Household Agency.

Kennedy, a 55-year-old attorney, is the first female U.S. envoy to Japan. She is scheduled to arrive in Japan on Friday.

Kennedy will be dealing with issues such as the realignment of U.S. military forces in Japan, especially the contentious relocation of the Futenma base within Okinawa.