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This month marks one year since Caroline Kennedy became U.S. ambassador to Japan. Do you think she has done a good job so far?

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How many words has she learned. I was rather annoyed when she first came here and started budding into the porpoise harvest not knowing anything about this place.

Please send an abassadore that speaks the language, eats the food, and knows the history of the place.

-1 ( +10 / -10 )

I think it's more like: " What has Caroline Kennedy been doing as the U.S. Ambassador to Japan?"

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Regardless of political affiliation or where they are from a person should understand (language and culture) the people they are representing their home country to.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Caroline has done quite well since being posted to the Tokyo ambassadorship. She is more visible than any of the other ambassadors stationed in Japan. And everytime she is seen in public by the Japanese, she is not only Caroline Kennedy ... but also the U.S. Ambassador to Japan. And, as my Japanese wife points out, with all the eyes pointed toward her and her being in the spotlight, she seems to have "become younger looking."

Not only has she handled herself quite well as ambassador, she seems to put a human touch to her work as she mingles with the locals in the numerous events she has attended all over this country.

In the past, the U.S. has had old men as ambassadors ... and I wonder how many of them had mastered the Japanese language. Probably only Ambassador Reischauer. Moreover, most of them attended mostly official functions that were held in the form of parties, etc. ... at a slower speed that older men enjoy.

The previous U.S. ambassador, John Roos, was also quite active as he, too, was an energetic man in his, I think, 50s. Caroline took the baton from him and like him, she is also very active ... probably even more.

So ... I hope she continues the good work and carries on for another year ...

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

What exactly did she do?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

she hasn't done anything for japan, in fact she hasn't shown any public appearance on any issue, when there are major issues to deal with.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Okay guys ... how many other ambassadors stationed here have voiced their opinions on any kind of issues that have to be dealt with? How often do you see these other ambassadors out there in public making, I guess you would say, a name for themselves? Caroline is more active than any of them combined...

And ... I still say she is doing a good job as U.S. ambassador to Japan ...

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Let's see....

Just 2 months after arriving she mouthed off publically about Abe visiting Yasukuni shrine.

In January this year she mouthed off again about the dolphin slaughter

Then in February she mouthed off again about NHK

... and at that point I stopped watching her career because it was simply too painful, like watching someone commit faux pas after faux pas utterly oblivious to the growing horror of those around them.

Now I happen to AGREE with her on some of these issues, but she's supposed to be a DIPLOMAT for goodness sakes, and the way she went about it completely alienated the people she was trying to open a dialogue with and removed any chance for progress on the issues.

She has been a complete disaster. But what else would you expect when someone's sole qualification is their bloodline. Honestly if she was a race horse she'd have been put out to pasture long since.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Way back when, the US Ambassador to Japan was actually an important job. As such, over the years you saw some very smart people get the gig. In the post-war period, perhaps the best was Edwin O. Reischauer, born in Tokyo, bilingual, culturally-aware and a giant intellect. Others like Armacost and Mansfield were also very good.

In more recent times, however, Tokyo has become a soft posting, with the ambassadors invariably being party hacks of one ilk or the other. Kennedy is just the latest addition to this conger line. She doesn't have any real language or diplomatic qualifications. Regarding her performance, I don't think there is much to comment on. Of course she has stepped well over the line in making pronouncements on issues that have nothing to do with her, but other than that she's been silent. Perhaps the host country is merely indulging her and choosing to handle things through its own embassy in Washington.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

The key to whether an ambassador has done a good job is the answer to the question: "Has the ambassador done anything to embarrass the host country or the ambassador's country?"

As far as I know, Ms. Kennedy has not embarrassed anyone, so she is doing an excellent job.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

In February, Kennedy promised to "Work for a Quick Reduction of U.S. Troops on Okinawa."

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-11/kennedy-s-okinawa-visit-seeks-to-defuse-base-dispute-with-locals.html

However, she wasn't very effective, as the Henoko plan seems to be steaming ahead and Futenma doesn't show any signs of being closed down.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

In February, Kennedy promised to "Work for a Quick Reduction of U.S. Troops on Okinawa."

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-11/kennedy-s-okinawa-visit-seeks-to-defuse-base-dispute-with-locals.html

However, she wasn't very effective, as the Henoko plan seems to be steaming ahead and Futenma doesn't show any signs of being closed down.

Bertie, read beyond the inaccurate headline of that article and you'll see she said NOTHING about reducing the number of U.S. troops on Okinawa. All she said was she was going to help reduce the impact of those troops on Okinawa... by facilitating their move out into the countryside.

Ambassador Caroline Kennedy pledged to work to quickly reduce the impact of U.S. forces in Okinawa, an island that hosts three quarters of its military facilities in Japan and where doctors once saved her father’s life.

On a trip to the island today, Kennedy met with Governor Hirokazu Nakaima, who raised hopes in December of an end to years of wrangling by approving the relocation of a U.S. Marine base from the center of a crowded city to a more remote location on the island.

“The United States is committed to working with you and the government of Japan to make that happen as rapidly as possible,” Kennedy said at a reception with local politicians including Nakaima in the prefectural capital of Naha.

She

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Fadamor, I get what you are saying. But that wasn't the only article. There was a slew of them at the time. Here's another from USA Today:

NAHA, Japan (AP) — U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy, making her first visit to Okinawa in hopes of winning support for a U.S. military base relocation plan, pledged Wednesday that Washington would do its best to reduce the burden of its heavy troop presence there.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

But what else would you expect when someone's sole qualification is their bloodline.

George Bush maybe? Rand Paul?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

NAHA, Japan (AP) — U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy, making her first visit to Okinawa in hopes of winning support for a U.S. military base relocation plan, pledged Wednesday that Washington would do its best to reduce the burden of its heavy troop presence there.

Again, what you read as "reducing the burden" and what the U.S. government reads as "reducing the burden" are two completely different things. You read it as a reduction in troops on the entire island, while the U.S. government reads it as reducing the troops in the city by relocating them out into the countryside. "Reducing the burden" can be done any number of different ways... with the removal of troops only one possible way of accomplishing that.

The plain fact is that Ambassador Kennedy has never said she would work for a reduction in troops on the island. That's because she is only an ambassador and does not set U.S. Foreign Policy nor U.S. Defense Policy. She says what the U.S. State Department tells her she can say. This is true of any ambassador out there. In this age of instant global communication, Ambassadors are basically figureheads of their country's government. They don't set policy, they don't filter communications to or from their country, and they certainly don't promise things without getting permission from their country first.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Fadamor,

Thank you. I get what you are saying.

An ambassador is just a face. And as such, I suppose Caroline Kennedy is doing her job.

The buzz in Okinawa was, "At last, here is an American who understands." The news was slanted to appear that she was saying that she would reduce the number of troops in Okinawa.

But I see that this was just wishful thinking.

I swallowed it too.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

She is a name without any substance. An Obama financial supporter and member of the 1%. A lightweight. Somewhat similar to the windbag she replaced, John Roos. Another friend of Obama, whose sole qualification seems to be his fundraising prowess (he raised over $500,000) for Obama's presidential bid. He was also rewarded with the ambassadorship.

Japan is an important American ally and trading partner. It is insulting to Japan in the extreme to grant the ambassador's post as a gift to reward political support. Make her ambassador to the Solomon Islands, or to Lesotho.

Let's contrast our Caroline to the Japanese amassador to the United States- Kenichiro Sasae. A former vice foreign minister, a professional diplomat for 30 years, graduate of the Tokyo University school of law and politics.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The buzz in Okinawa was, "At last, here is an American who understands." The news was slanted to appear that she was saying that she would reduce the number of troops in Okinawa.

Then perhaps she is a better ambassador than people think. Anything a politician says will be "slanted" to make nothing sound like something. She may not be a politician, but it appears she got politically-stained during her upbringing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There is a tendency among talking faces on TV that Obama does not like Japan because it does not act like a little puppy that jumps when you say "jump" or play dead when you say "play dead". So it is OK to send a light weight or anyone who raises lots of money here as ambassador. And really, tweeting about domestic affairs really reduces her status. That is a diplomatic NO NO. And tweeting is for high school girls.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There's no easier place to be an ambassador. Cush, cush, cushy job. She keeps a low profile, enjoys tons of perks, and is doing just fine.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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