National / Politics

Caroline Kennedy stresses importance of prefecture to visiting Okinawa students


Former U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy on Monday called on visiting students from Okinawa Prefecture to come to the United States again and learn more about the country.

During her meeting in New York with about 20 high school and university students from Okinawa, Kennedy stressed the importance of the prefecture to the future of the bilateral alliance.

“The future of the U.S.-Japan alliance, which is the strongest and the most important in the world right now today, really depends on Okinawa,” she said.

The students are visiting the United States under an exchange program organized by Japan’s Foreign Ministry to help them increase the understanding of bilateral relations.

“We are here to think about the future of Okinawa and to share real Okinawa,” said Yurino Tamaki, 21, of the University of the Ryukyus.

Kennedy looked delighted as she received bingata cloth produced using Okinawa’s traditional dyeing technique. The former ambassador to Japan said that she made the craft when she visited Okinawa.

The students also toured the White House and the State Department in Washington. In New York, they met with Koro Bessho, Japan’s ambassador to the United Nations.