Three days before the 50th anniversary of her father’s assassination, President Kennedy’s daughter Caroline has been greeted by cheering crowds in Tokyo as the newly appointed American ambassador to Japan.
She travelled to the imperial palace in a horse-drawn carriage – as new ambassadors in the country are entitled to do – but few will have experienced the kind of reception she did, with thousands lining the streets.
The fact that Kennedy is the only living child of the late president – and her ties to Barack Obama – have heightened interest in her appointment.
The 55-year-old briefly met Emperor Akihito to hand over a letter from the US president with her credentials.
She is the first woman to be named US ambassador to Japan.
Caroline Kennedy’s appointment has been welcomed – she knows the country well, having first visited in 1978, and spent her honeymoon there.
Some though question her lack of diplomatic experience, given the high state of tension between Japan and China.
The Obama administration is seeking to bolster its alliance with Tokyo as
the countries respond to Beijing’s strength in the region.