U.S. Senate confirms Kennedy as ambassador to Japan

WASHINGTON Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:34pm EDT

Caroline Kennedy, daughter of former U.S. President John F. Kennedy, testifies at her U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on her nomination as the U.S. Ambassador to Japan, on Capitol Hill in Washington, September 19, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed

Caroline Kennedy, daughter of former U.S. President John F. Kennedy, testifies at her U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on her nomination as the U.S. Ambassador to Japan, on Capitol Hill in Washington, September 19, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate confirmed Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy, on Wednesday as President Barack Obama's next U.S. ambassador to Japan, the first woman to fill the post.

Kennedy was unanimously approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on September 30, but final approval of her nomination was held up by wrangling in Congress over how to end a funding battle that partly shut down the government and threatened to force Washington to default on its debts.

The unanimous voice vote in the Senate late on Wednesday came shortly after the Senate approved legislation ending the crisis.

Kennedy, a lawyer and president of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, sailed through a friendly confirmation hearing last month. Members of the Foreign Relations Committee spoke fondly of her father and uncles, who served in the Senate.

Kennedy's appointment lends the prestige of a storied political dynasty to the U.S. relationship with Japan, a particularly close and important ally. Many past ambassadors have been well-known political figures, including former Vice President Walter Mondale.

Kennedy, 55, was an early and prominent supporter of Obama in his initial quest for the presidency in 2008.

She noted during her confirmation hearing on September 19 that her father had hoped to be the first sitting U.S. president to make a state visit to Japan.

John F. Kennedy, a World War Two veteran who had fought against Japan in the Pacific, was felled by an assassin's bullet when she was a young girl, as was her uncle Robert, a U.S. senator and former attorney general.

(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Stacey Joyce)

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Comments (10)
MacMan wrote:
While Ms. Caroline Kennedy may be a fine person and an ambassadorship is not such a big deal, but this “dynasty” thing is nothing short of nepotism and technically it should be at least frowned in the US, or in an “democracy.”

We have the Bush dynasty, the Kennedy dynasty, the Sharpton and almost the Jackson dynasty….

We laugh at North Korea and a few other Third World political dynasties, but maybe we should take a closer look at ourselves.

Oct 17, 2013 1:18am EDT  --  Report as abuse
rybo1 wrote:
Sounds like a cushy job for another member of the Royal family.

Oct 17, 2013 1:53am EDT  --  Report as abuse
taxcorps2 wrote:
That is quite the ridiculous, cynical comment.

Oct 17, 2013 2:42am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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