Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy took a 500 kph ride on a maglev train at the Yamanashi Maglev Test Center of Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai).
Abe invited Kennedy as U.S. President Barack Obama plans to introduce a high-speed railway network in the United States. Abe hopes Japan will be the nation offering the maglev technology that helps create that network.
Abe is also offering the same technology to other nations.
President Obama on Wednesday afternoon announced he was nominating Caroline Kennedy as the US ambassador to Japan, an appointment that would catapult the only surviving child of slain President John F. Kennedy to a dynamic diplomatic post.
Kennedy, who has been rumored to be in line for the position for months, would be the first female American ambassador in Tokyo.
Kennedy has a long history with President Obama, having endorsed him at a crucial point in the 2008 Democratic primary contest. She also cochaired Obama’s 2008 search for a running mate and cochaired his 2012 reelection effort.
An official White House announcement, which is probably forthcoming shortly, is expected to thrill the Japanese public, which likes their American ambassadors to be superstars — although older men have been the norm. Kennedy’s predecessors include luminaries such as Senate majority leader Mike Mansfield, former vice president Walter Mondale, former House speaker Tom Foley and former Senate majority leader Howard Baker.
Word of this latest step was first reported late Friday by the Nelson Report and then this morning by the Japanese press.
Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy, is a leading candidate to become President Barack Obama’s nominee as U.S. ambassador to Japan, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Kennedy, 55, would replace Ambassador John Roos, a former technology lawyer and Obama campaign donor, as the U.S. envoy in Tokyo, according to the people, who asked for anonymity because the decision hasn’t been made official. While the president has signed off on Kennedy’s nomination, her vetting for the post hasn’t been completed, said one of the people.