JFK’s daughter says his spirit lives on
TOKYO — The daughter of President John F. Kennedy said that his spirit lives on even though his life was cut short.
Caroline Kennedy, the new U.S. ambassador to Japan, told Japan’s Yomiuri newspaper that she meets someone almost every day who says he or she was inspired by her father. “Even though my father didn’t live to accomplish all the things he wanted, his spirit lives on,” she said.
The remarks published Sunday were her first public comments about Friday’s 50th anniversary of her father’s assassination. She noted his legacies include the Peace Corps and the U.S. Agency for International Development, which is providing humanitarian aid to the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan.
“My father inspired a generation of Americans to serve their country and work for justice and peace,” she said. “But too often today, people feel disconnected from politics and uncertain about the future.”
Kennedy, who arrived in Tokyo nine days ago, also talked to Japan’s largest newspaper about ongoing challenges in U.S.-Japan relations. “We hope that substantive progress is made in the near future” on a long-delayed plan to relocate a U.S. Marine Corps base from one part of Okinawa to another, said Kennedy, who is visiting the tsunami-hit region of northeast Japan on Monday and Tuesday.
Her father, whose torpedo boat was sunk by a Japanese destroyer in World War II, wanted to strengthen America’s relations with its former enemy, she told the Yomiuri. Others have realized his vision in the past 50 years, she said. “It is an inspiring story of the power of individuals to change the world, and I am eager to be part of the next chapter.”
On nuclear weapons, she said her father considered the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty to be his greatest accomplishment. “I am proud to serve another president who is committed to ridding the world of these terrible weapons while I am here in Japan.”