Ambassador Caroline Kennedy arrives in Japan – and two interesting historical coincidences involving Japan and the JFK assassination

From Jiji Press:

New U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy, 55, the daughter of past U.S. President John F. Kennedy, arrived at Narita Airport in Chiba Prefecture on Friday afternoon.

“It’s a special honor for me to be able to work to strengthen the close ties between our two great countries,” Kennedy said in a statement read to reporters at the airport.

Referring to her father who was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963, she said, “He had hoped to be the first U.S. president to visit Japan.”

Kennedy is the first U.S. female ambassador to Japan. She will present her credentials to the Emperor at a ceremony Tuesday afternoon. Kennedy will hold a meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday.

Interesting historical note 1:

Kennedy had planned to visit Japan in early 1964. An advance team was flying to Japan the day Kennedy was assassinated to prepare for his visit. They had to turn around mid-flight after the assassination news broke.

Interesting historical note 2:

The day of the assassination also happened to be the day of the first trans-Pacific satellite television broadcast.  You can read about it here. From the article:

All major Japanese Newspapers reported the completion of the experimental station and the TV relay experiment schedule. The very first trans-Pacific satellite communications experiment via Relay-1 satellite was successfully carried out on November 23, 1963. Because this experiment schedule had been widely announced by the press beforehand and telecast nation wide as a live program, many Japanese people could witness this historic television transmission from the USA in front of home TV sets. Unexpectedly, the news of the assassination of President J.F. Kennedy, who had actively promoted space exploration including satellite communications, was conveyed as the first TV program transmission over the Pacific. Japanese Newspapers reported the successful TV relay experiment along side with big coverage of President Kennedy’s assassination. The fact that the very first trans-Pacific TV program transmission was the most tragic news that had happened only moments before has deeply stuck in the memory of Japanese people.


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