politics

Kennedy meets emperor in ceremonial pomp broadcast live on TV

51 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© (c) 2013 AFP

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

51 Comments
Login to comment

American royal family meets Japanese royal family.

4 ( +7 / -4 )

****Congratulations to Ambassador Caroline Kennedy. Her appointment is particularly heartwarming given the tremendous dedicated service given by her family, especially her father, President John F. Kennedy.

7 ( +10 / -4 )

I'm not en English native but "50th anniversary of her fathers assassination" while grammatically correct, is that really the word used in English to commemorate such an event? shouldnt commemoration or memorial be more fitting? Correct me if Im wrong btw.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

an elaborate procession accompanied by palace officials dressed in European-style ceremonial attire.

i think this is the only part that seems ridiculous. the emperor has no connection to europe, so why the attire? how about a rickshaw with guys dressed as samurai instead?

-3 ( +6 / -7 )

She will briefly meet with the emperor and hand him a letter...

Here we go again...

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Such symbolism is what was lacking in the Nobel Peace prize bypassing Malala Yousefzai. People can be symbols like no organization can. Maybe being born in Boston and having lived in Hiroshima, this meeting somehow seems historic to me, as it symbolically helps to patch up disjunctions in U.S.-Japan relations as well as the loose ends of our own stories.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Here we go again...

No. Ms. Kennedy is not a Japanese politician.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Kennedy, 55, the lone surviving child of John F Kennedy, is to be taken to the imperial palace in a horse-drawn carriage, in an elaborate procession accompanied by palace officials dressed in European-style ceremonial attire.

I still think they should take her in Jinrikisha

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The Emperor's job is written in the constitution. Receiving credentials of a foreign mission is in his job but receiving letters from a parliament member urging political action by the Emperor is not.

Constitution of Japan

Article 7. The Emperor does the following actions on behalf of the citizens with advice and consent of the Cabinet.

Item 9. To accept ambassadors and ministers of a foreign nation.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

who cares...

2 ( +6 / -4 )

so the cosplay mania goes all the way to the emperor and ambassadors. circus and bread

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@vitaly Ever hear of a metaphor?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@rickyvee Japanese have been wearing western style clothes for some time now

1 ( +3 / -2 )

CH3CHONov. 19, 2013 - 04:08PM JST The Emperor's job is written in the constitution. Receiving credentials of a foreign mission is in his job but receiving letters from a parliament member urging political action by the Emperor is not.

Nonsense. The Emperor's duties also include "attesting" to a number of things (certifying that they are true). If he is barred from recieving any evidence that contradicts what he's being told by the government then he is incapable of doing his duty. Your argument is ridiculous.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Your argument is ridiculous.

With all due respect, it is not his argument. It is written that way in the constitution. Politicians are not allowed to urge the Emperor into action. It would take a change to the constitution to make this possible.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Legality aside, the pantomime is absurd. It has no historical context beyond a yearning for acceptance of European norms.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

slumdogNov. 19, 2013 - 05:38PM JST With all due respect, it is not his argument. It is written that way in the constitution. Politicians are not allowed to urge the Emperor into action. It would take a change to the constitution to make this possible.

With all due respect, it is NOT written that way in the constitution. The constitution mentions a number of times that the Emperor must certify the truth of an number of things, and he cannot do that if he's not allowed access to outside sources of information. The letter was not urging the Emperor into action, it was merely informing him about the situation in Fukushima, a situation that official sources seem to be consistently lying about.

Let me repeat, NOWHERE in the constitution does it say that the Emperor cannot receive information. If that was so then he'd look like one of the ancient Chinese emperor's, hooded in tinkling jade so that he couldn't see or hear anything that contradicted the lies of the senior civil servants.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I enjoy watching this sort of spectacle as given to Ambassador Kennedy -- in Japan -- but cannot stomach seeing the British royal family on US TV and my daily podcasts. Why would Americans have the least interest in that snobbish claptrap?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Got the position because of her name, nothing more. No experience and she is a woman. Obama trying to show off once again.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

FrungyNov. 19, 2013 - 07:07PM JST

The constitution mentions a number of times that the Emperor must certify the truth of an number of things, and he cannot do that if he's not allowed access to outside sources of information

The Emperor's job is written in Article 6 and 7 of the constitution.

Article 6. Paragraph 1. The Emperor shall appoint the Prime Minister based on the nomination of the Diet.

Paragraph 2. The Emperor shall appoint the Chief Justice based on the nomination of the Cabinet.

Article 7. The Emperor shall do the following actions on behalf of the citizens with advice and consent of the Cabinet.

item 1. To promulgate Constitution, laws, government orders or treaties.

item 2. To convoke the Diet.

item 3. To dissolve the House of Representatives.

item 4. To announce the general election of the Diet.

item 5. To attest the Minister of State or other officials and the credentials of ambassadors and ministers.

item 6. To grant pardon.

item 7. To award honors.

item 8. To attest diplomatic documents.

item 9. To accept ambassadors and ministers of a foreign nation.

item 10. To perform rituals.

He does not certify the truth of number of things. Everything he does is based on "advice and consent of the Cabinet" or based on nomination of the Diet. In other words, he is a puppet. This is how a monarch lives with democracy.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Not even one single photo JT ???

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

With all due respect, it is NOT written that way in the constitution. The constitution mentions a number of times that the Emperor must certify the truth of an number of things, and he cannot do that if he's not allowed access to outside sources of information.

As the poster above mentions, you are very mistaken. It is written that way and your misunderstanding of what you call the Emperor 'certifying a number of things' is a great part of the problem with your misunderstanding. The Emperor does not have any choice in what he signs off on. He is not the head of state. It is a formality. He is not making any judgements and does not have the power to do so. It would take a change to the constitution to make this happen and you can believe that there would be a large number of Asian countries against any such changes in the constitution. Ironic that many who claim to be against any changes to Article 9 of the constitution want changes that would give the Emperor the power to make political decisions.

Be careful what you wish for at the wishing tree. I do not think you want the Emperor to be the head of state of Japan. I do not think you want the Emperor to have political power. So, why argue for such things? I just do not understand the posters here arguing for things that they are fundamentally against.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Viking: there is a picture on Carolin and horse cart on Picture of Day. JT did excellent Photo. European style horse cart, not American cowboy time horse cart. the ones you see in old American cowboy TV series like Big Valley in which Barbara Stanwick often steer on a front horse to run cart at about Carolin's age.,

0 ( +2 / -2 )

rickyveeNov. 19, 2013 - 01:50PM JST "an elaborate procession accompanied by palace officials dressed in European-style ceremonial attire. i think this is the only part that seems ridiculous. the emperor has no connection to europe, so why the attire? how >about a rickshaw with guys dressed as samurai instead?

I think you need to study Japanese history 1852-1920. Start with googling Meiji Restoration.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

@toshiko-san

Thanks for the info ! I forgot to check the "Picture of the day" ! And they have now added one to this aricle too !

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Slumdog and CH3CH0 - Evidently you both skipped out on English classes, because the meaning of "attest" in the translation you provided means "to testify to the truth of".

You've also used an extremely bad translation that leaves out a lot, for example:

item 5. To attest the Minister of State or other officials and the credentials of ambassadors and ministers.

This should read: (5) Attestation of the appointment and dismissal of Ministers of State and other officials as provided for by law, and of full powers and credentials of Ambassadors and Ministers.

item 6. To grant pardon.

This should read: (6) Attestation of general and special amnesty, commutation of punishment, reprieve, and restoration of rights.

Your translation omits critical facts, such as that the Emperor technically has the power to dismiss Ministers of State (like members of the Diet), and that it would be in their best interests to hide anything incriminating from the man who has the power to give them the boot.

You cited an incomplete (and incorrect) translation and were too ill-informed to even realise that the version you were citing was incorrect. This would strongly suggest that you know little or nothing about the Japanese constitution. I'd recommend reading a thorough and approved translation in full before you come back and argue with someone who clearly knows a LOT more than you do.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Why are they people so obsessed with the Kennedys???

2 ( +6 / -4 )

@Ossan: Glad you suggested to ricky ti study history. He might realize there was no such thing as rickshaw in Japan. Maybe he meant jin-riki-sha? Jin-riki-sha was not allowed to enter Ko-kyo )Imperial House) gate if visitors are not Imperial House relative, not even nobles such as Fomer PM Hosokawa families. . Beside that, who will be able to operate jin-riki-sha even someone get about 6 years of daily practicing? Someone has to be stronger than Cowboy;s horses.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Wish I could get someone to stand & hold my credentials!!!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@tinawatanabe yes, but european liveries died out a looong time ago.

@ossan the meiji era has nothing to do with how the emperor is "connected" to european aristocracy. my comment was how silly it looks for japanese people to dress like that during this ceremony. it would be as odd as brazilian presidents wearing traditonal japanese clothing during a similar ceremony. sorry but it just looks silly.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

In Japanese Constitution, there are article 1 to article 8 and article 98 and 99 that are related to Emperor. The Japanese constitution was written in Japanese language. Written from lright to left, each page, top to bottom. Isn;t attest translation of (Shou-Mei) in English? Japanese Constitution (We call Mac/Arthur Constitution) was written in Japanese, not English. Wikipedia wrote excellent translation so you can check translated version abaout Chapter 1 (article 1 -8) and article 98 and 99. Read Article 4. that restricts, Enperor's acxtion about government.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

“I just was honored to present my credentials to his majesty"

As far as I know an emperor should be addressed 'His Imperial Majesty' in order to distinguish the status of an emperor from that of a king/queen, who are simply styled Majesty (HM) or Royal Majesty (HRM).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

rickyveeNov. 20, 2013 - 12:15AM JST @ossan the meiji era has nothing to do with how the emperor is "connected" to european aristocracy.

Yes it does. You obviously did not heed my suggestion to study the westernization of Japan in the Meiji era.

my comment was how silly it looks for japanese people to dress like that during this ceremony. it would be as odd as >brazilian presidents wearing traditonal japanese clothing during a similar ceremony. sorry but it just looks silly.

Well you are free to consider anything as "silly" looking. But Japanese dressing like Europeans looking "silly" is a concept that hasn't been mainstream for about 153 years. By your definition do the Japanese "salarymen" look silly because they are wearing suits and ties rather than hakama? Japanese men also started wearing western suits around the same time.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Ossan is right. Old Japanese people used to call tuxedo pronouned as 'takishiido and wore in formal ceremonies. Hirobumi Ito, Kogoro Katsura, etc who worked for Meiji Ishin after their people won Boshin-War all used tuxedo for formal meetings.. then, corporations had their employees' clothing code, suits. Salarymen had to wear suits. Men;s suits makers sprouted everywhere and they became big business renting Mitsukow=shi, etc or their home. Singer sewing machines were imported for suits makers not kimono makers. Factories were differents but salarymen had to wear suits. That has been a long time. Old people who contributed to Meiji Ishin proudly took pictures in their westernized clothes.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Frungy,

You are mistaken. Here is a book for you to consider purchasing so that you may understand the Emperor's role in Japan correctly.

http://www.amazon.co.jp/Constitution-Japan-Milo-Rowell-ebook/dp/B0017OT0JK

The Constitution of Japan has been the founding legal document of Japan since 1947. The constitution provides for a parliamentary system of government and guarantees certain fundamental rights. Under its terms the Emperor of Japan is "the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people" and exercises a purely ceremonial role without the possession of sovereignty. Thus, unlike other monarchs, he is not formally the head of state although he is portrayed and treated as though he were.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm tired of all this talk about Caroline Kennedy's inexperience. She's been to a Japanese garden and she's eaten sushi before, for chrissake! She's an expert by Obama's standards!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

“Our alliance is critical to a prosperous and peaceful world,” she added in a brief speech, accompanied by her husband, Edwin Schlossberg."

How come her name isn't Caroline Schlossberg?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

How come her name isn't Caroline Schlossberg?

In both the 20th and 21st centuries in many countries, women have been allowed to choose to keep their maiden (original) names, She is one that has chosen to do so. Considering her name, it is not difficult to see why.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Did the last ambassador get the royal welcome? Is she some royal family member?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

1) His Majesty is correct. Japan used to be DaiNippon Imperial Country but since it lost war, no longer Imperial country, Constitution is Japan Country Constitution, No longer Imperial. 2) In USA, medias has been saying 50th anniversary of JFK assassination, No stations say commemoration, Many expert has been digging Warren Report, where shot came. including then Governor;s wife's telling that how Kennedy fell like he was shot from front, not from side, etc and digging Jack Ruby Cuban assassin theor, etc right now. So, no one say commemoration that vocabrary is usually used to peacefully dead people in USA. 3) Unlike many USA big shots, Ambassador at least know Sukiyaki, teppanyaki, sushi, gohan, and other Japanese culture. I don;t know she knows Nintendo game but I am pretty sure she knows Toyota, Honda are Japanese brand name cars.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

National Post has a number of different photos of the event.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Jean; He learned about Japan before he came to Japan so he knew Emperor can not be used for politics. So, he ignored Emperor. It seems that Calolin is like Gen. MacArthur. She used her brain to visit Emperor. Gen. Mac was not in diplomatic but he ignored Truman;s order to hang last Emperor. He visited Emperor. instead

/ btw, her three children's last names are her husband's. Many people use their maiden name. No one ask Yoko Ono why her last name is not Lennon. Why Madonna and Lady Ga Ga do not have last name. None of our business?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

slumdogNov. 20, 2013 - 07:03AM JST You are mistaken. Here is a book for you to consider purchasing so that you may understand the Emperor's role in Japan correctly.

You were clearly and demonstrably mistaken. Now you're trying to change the topic by avoiding the issue under discussion entirely and recommending I read an entire book without addressing any specific issue. Your post is a non-post.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

First, I hope I have the permission of site managers here to continue this line of discussion. It has taken a while to type this response (more than thirty minutes). So, I respectfullly ask that it is allowed to stand.

Frungy,

You were clearly and demonstrably mistaken.

No. You incorrectly suggested the Emperor has powers that he does not have. I have demonstrated this with my quote from the book above. It can be found in many places including the link I provided for you.

You wrote:

the Emperor technically has the power to dismiss Ministers of State (like members of the Diet), and that it would be in their best interests to hide anything incriminating from the man who has the power to give them the boot.

You are mistaken on two fronts here. One, the Emperor does not have the power to dismiss Ministers of State. Two, he does not have the power to 'give them the boot'.

As I wrote above, the Emperor himself is a figurehead and has no governmental powers himself. It is fascinating to me that you say you have lived in Japan and yet you have made little or no effort up to now to learn about the Emperor and the governmental structure of Japan.

Here is a better link in which you can see this quote and others to help you understand how mistaken you have been. You can actually read the inside of the book and I think MacArthur knows quite a bit more about the Japanese Constitution because he was responsible for making it possible.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Constitution-Japan-Milo-Rowell-ebook/dp/B0017OT0JK#reader_B0017OT0JK

I am going to type what is written there. You should apologize for making me have to type something you should have researched for yourself.

Article 1. The Emperor shall be the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people, derviing his position formt he will of the people with whom resides sovereign power.

Article 3. The advice and approval of the Cabinet shall be required for all acts of the Emperor in matters of state, and the Cabinet shall be responsible therefor.

Article 4. The Emperor shall perform only such acts in matters of state as are provided for in this Constitution and he shall not have powers related to government . (2) The Emperor may delegate the performance of his acts in matters of state as may be provided by law.

Article 6. The Emperor shall appoint the Prime Minister as designated by the Diet . (2) The Emperor shall appoint the Chief Judge of the Supreme Court as designated by the Cabinet.

Article 7. The Emperor, with the advice and approval of the Cabinet , shall perform the following acts in matters of state on behalf of the people: (i) Promulgation of amendment fo the constitution, laws, cabinet orders and treaties, (ii) Convocation of the Diet, (etc)

Article 8. No property can be given to, or received by, the Imperial House, nor can any gifts be made therefrom. without the authorization of the Diet.

It is really amazing that you attempted to continue this discussion without educating yourself first. Did you really think the GHQ would have left the Emperor in the power situation that you have completely incorrectly described? Frungy to paraphrase your quote above: Your posts strongly suggest that you know little or nothing about the Japanese constitution. I'd recommend reading a thorough and approved translation in full before you come back and argue with someone who clearly knows a LOT more than you do. I mean, Gee, you really have no idea what you are talking about.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

slumdog is right. Why Emperor does not have poAmblkitical poser in Japan as Constitute stated? This constitution was not made iafter Japan lost war. Gen. Mac came to Japan and knew Japanese people except communist followers and people who had letchup in home were ready to participate in Ichioku Gyokusui. He had to do something His people decided to revise Meiji Ishin Constitution to ensure Japanese people live and participate in reconstruction of Japan. In order to do so, he defied Truman;s order and did not hang Emperor. Next, Constitution was revived. So, Emperor was not going to be used as puppet of some politicians. Also. World's known scholars. especially botanists begged Gen, Mac enable to Emperor continue His botanical research. This MacArthur Constitution made sure Emperor not to be used as a puppet of a politician. Well, huge Imperial assets were confisticated by Govt but Article 98 guaranteed income from his asset will be paid to Imperial Family. /Maybe puppet again but this time He does not have to worry Ichioku Gyokusai and other militant politician;s scheme. Gen, Mac suceeded. Japan is not Communist country. And people are alive. Kennedy went to Symbol of Japan, not a politician who might be forgotten in a few years. This means she went to symbol of Japanese people. I quit now because getting too long. Kennedy-san, people said. No one remember who was last ambassador who didn;t respect symbol of Japan. I

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Lol to those who claimed that the Japanese public would be insulted to have her as Ambassador due to her lack of experience. As you can see from the throngs of people on the street and live NHK coverage it's quite the opposite

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Sue: I hardly see people commenting about Calolin's experience We have been writing about suits, constitutions - translated in English, etc. Hardly anything else. Not even jealous comment on her wealth. More constitution arguments, here.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This appointment was absolutely calculated to announce supreme alliance between Japan and The USA. Metaphorically and emotionally, a Kennedy is the closest thing to royalty in the USA, and none more august than Caroline.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@rickyvee" but european liveries died out a looong time ago" Oh, I see your point. You know, Kunaichou, Imperial Household Agency doesn't want to change anything.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@rickyvee" but european liveries died out a looong time ago"

For looong long time, suits and dresses became Japanese custom. Copycatting European customs are tradion of Japanese now.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So we're looking at a ton of comments on the Japanese constitution and the appropriateness of traditional ceremonies involving new ambassadors to Japan and how they get to the palace to present their credentials, yet almost nothing about the actual article which covered the current U.S. Ambassador to Japan presenting her credentials to Japan's Emperor - another traditional ceremony. And the only moderator presence has been some questionable deletions of posts that actually were a lot more on-topic than the stuff they allowed to remain.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites