Kennedy makes first visit to Tohoku


New U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy visited Miyagi Prefecture on Monday for the first time since assuming her post and was briefed on the devastation wrought by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in the Tohoku region.

During her visit, Kennedy met with Miyagi Gov. Yoshihiro Murai and told him the U.S. government has not forgotten about those affected by the disaster, saying U.S. citizens were moved by the courage the victims have displayed. She also said it was important for her to make the visit, according to Miyagi government officials.

Murai said he told Kennedy her visit will encourage disaster victims who fear the tragic event will be forgotten and asked her to keep spreading information about the affected areas.

Kennedy later received briefings on the impact of the disaster from local land ministry officials.

Kennedy, the daughter of the late U.S. President John F. Kennedy, formally became the U.S. ambassador on Nov. 15 and has since visited places including the U.S. Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo.

The major earthquake that struck on March 11, 2011, left more than 15,000 people confirmed dead and some 2,600 missing.