TOKYO — The daughter of President John F. Kennedy said that his spirit lives on even though his life was cut short.
Caroline Kennedy, who is the new U.S. ambassador to Japan, said in an interview published in Japan’s Yomiuri newspaper Sunday that people often tell her they were inspired by her father. That’s a reminder that we all have a duty to work together for a better world, she was quoted as saying.
The remarks were her first public comments about Friday’s 50th anniversary of her father’s assassination. She noted his legacies include the Peace Corps and the U.S. Agency for International Development, which is providing humanitarian aid to the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan.
She also said her father inspired his generation of Americans to serve their country and work for justice and peace, adding that many young people today feel politics bears no relationship to themselves.
Kennedy, who arrived in Tokyo nine days ago, also talked to Japan’s largest newspaper about ongoing challenges in U.S.-Japan relations. She hopes that “substantive progress is made in the near future” in moving forward with a long-delayed plan to relocate a U.S. Marine Corps base from one part of Okinawa to another.
Her father, whose torpedo boat was sunk by a Japanese destroyer in World War II, wanted to strengthen America’s relations with its former enemy, she told the Yomiuri. Others have realized this plan in the years since his death, she said, and she wants to be part of the next chapter.
On nuclear weapons, an important subject for Japan, she said her father considered the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty to be his biggest success, and that she is proud to work for a president whose aim is to eliminate this frightful weapon from the world.
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