Published by The American Chamber of Commerce in Japan Journal, May 2015 issue.
20 June 1961
Meeting with Prime Minister of Japan. Japanese Ambassador to US Koichiro Asakai; President Kennedy; Secretary of State Dean Rusk; Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan Zentaro Kosaka; Prime Minister Hayato Ikeda; US Ambassador to Japan Edwin O. Reischauer; James J. Wickel, interpreter. Oval Office, White House.
Credit: White House Photographs, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston
By Tom Benner
TOKYO – Robert F. Kennedy stood on the stage of Waseda University’s Okuma Auditorium and looked out on an audience erupting in chaos.
It was February 6, 1962, and President John F. Kennedy’s younger brother—also the attorney general and JFK’s trusted adviser—had been dispatched to Tokyo to smooth over US–Japan relations, at a time when anti-US sentiments were running high.
His mission encompassed laying the groundwork for the president’s much-anticipated trip to Japan in 1964, which would have been the first visit by a sitting US president. Continue reading …
Japan celebrates JFK’s legacy with former President Bill Clinton
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, speaking at a symposium in Tokyo, describes the lasting impact of John F. Kennedy’s leadership.
Published by Nikkei Asian Review, March 19, 2015
TOKYO – Camelot is alive and well in Tokyo. Political leaders including former U.S. President Bill Clinton and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe joined academics, government officials, media pundits and even an astronaut to praise the legacy of U.S. President John F. Kennedy and his lasting impact on modern life.
The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation on Wednesday hosted its first international symposium on the late president, titled “The Torch Has Been Passed: JFK’s Legacy Today.”
The event took place at a fully packed Okuma Auditorium at Waseda University in Tokyo, where President Kennedy’s brother, then-Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, delivered a lecture to students in 1962. Kennedy had dispatched his brother to Japan at a time of anti-American student protests in Japan; Robert calmed an angry crowd of students at Waseda (and Japanese television viewers at home), and his trip marked a turning point in U.S.-Japan relations, wrote Dartmouth College scholar Jennifer Lind, who attended Wednesday’s event.
Kennedy had hoped to be the first sitting U.S. president to make a state visit to Japan in 1964, but was tragically assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963, in his third year in office while on visit to Dallas, Texas. Continue reading …