TOKYO – Newly arrived U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy presented her credentials to Japan’s emperor on Tuesday, traveling by horse-drawn carriage into the Imperial Palace in downtown Tokyo.
Hundreds of onlookers snapped pictures and waved as Kennedy, 55-year-old daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy, waved back from inside the carriage.
In an unusual move, national broadcaster NHK showed Kennedy’s arrival at the Imperial Palace live, following the entourage from the air once it entered the palace gates.
It is customary for a newly arrived ambassador to meet with Emperor Akihito to present credentials.
The procession was accompanied by palace officials in European-style ceremonial costumes, including a footman in breaches, led by a horseman astride a white horse.
Kennedy was appointed ambassador after helping President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign. She is the first woman to serve as U.S. ambassador to Japan, the United States’ fourth-largest trading partner and home to the Navy’s 7th Fleet and 50,000 American troops.