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Friday, February 14, 2014

JFK's Life Saved In Japan

You might be wondering why I am not writing about Valentine's Day in Japan, and am instead writing about U.S. ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy - well... I have a thing for Caroline.

Caroline Kennedy, the current U.S. ambassador to Japan revealed on February 12 that her dad, the former U.S. president John F. Kennedy nearly died during a visit to Okinawa, Japan back in 1951.

Okinawa governor Nakaima Hirokazu (surname first) in making conversation with Ms. Kennedy mentioned her father: "I remember hearing that he fell ill during a visit to Asia, and I think it was an army hospital, he was admitted to an American army hospital."

Obviously from his comments, we can see that he was on a bit of a fishing trip - stating Asia, rather than Japan or specifically Okinawa… which you think he might have known or heard about…

Caroline Kennedy was recently appointed by current U.S. president Barack Obama as an envoy to Okinawa, and once there, she was the one who revealed that previously forgotten historical fact about JFK and the Okinawa connection.

"Yes... they thought he might die, and so his life was saved here on Okinawa. So, (it’s) an honor to be here and to visit,” Kennedy reportedly said to governor Nakaima

Kennedy explained that her father, former President John F. Kennedy, fell ill during a 1951 visit he made to Okinawa, which was then under post-World War II U.S. occupation.

Caroline Kennedy's first visit to Okinawa as ambassador was to meet with leaders in an attempt to win support for a plan to relocate a U.S. military base.

The U.S. would like to move its Marine Corps Futenma air station to the Henoko district of Nago. The controversial plan is backed by Nakaima, but many other Okinawa residents, including Nago’s mayor, want the base moved completely off the island.

In the photo at the very top, Caroline Kennedy shakes hands with Okinawa governor Nakaima Hirokazu, after she presented him with a copy of a visa application form of her father, the former U.S. president John F. Kennedy, issued in 1951 when he visited Japan.

Andrew Joseph

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