Caroline Kennedy reflects on Shinzo Abe’s legacy and when Abe surprised her son Jack Schlossberg for his birthday

From 2013 to 2017, Caroline Kennedy served as United States Ambassador to Japan and worked closely with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was assassinated last week at a campaign event in Nara, Japan. In a recent interview, Kennedy spoke about Abe’s legacy and the shock of his assassination.

“Prime Minister Abe was an incredible leader,” Kennedy said. BNC News. Once upon a time in a generation. She added that “both of our countries have lost a great leader and a great friend.”

“When I saw him at his most powerful was when he really led the effort to strengthen the process of reconciliation between our two countries, which fought so hard during World War II,” he said. she declared. “As the child of a Pacific War veteran, for me, that was incredibly meaningful.”

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john f kennedy future us senator and president wearing his us navy uniform and posing with his hands on his knees world war two

John F Kennedy wearing his US Navy uniform, circa 1940.

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Kennedy’s father, John F. Kennedy, served in the Navy during World War II, where he commanded a series of PT boats. He survived the sinking of PT-109 and rescued members of his crew, earning him a Navy and Marine Corps Medal and a Purple Heart. “Any man who can be asked in this century what he has done to make his life worthwhile, I think, can answer with great pride and satisfaction, ‘I served in the United States Navy'”, he wrote in August 1963.

“Prime Minister Abe had great admiration for President Kennedy and his call to public service,” continued Caroline Kennedy. “Prime Minister Abe also comes from a political family.”

She then spoke of Abe’s dedication to reconciliation and healing from the horrors of World War II.

US President Barack Obama with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after laying a wreath to commemorate the victims of the 1945 atomic bombing at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

US President Barack Obama with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after laying a wreath to commemorate the victims of the 1945 atomic bombing at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in May 2016.


Prime Minister Abe, she said, “was committed to President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima, which was a historic moment in U.S.-Japan relations, and then he himself became the first sitting prime minister to pay our respects and condolences to Pearl Harbor. I think I saw then the power of leadership to build a more peaceful world, and it is up to each of us to do all in our power to continue and strengthen this process, but I have seen two leaders engage in it and take great risks to do it. But they did it, because they are committed to freedom, human rights and democracy .”

After talking about diplomacy, Kennedy went on to tell a more personal anecdote: her son Jack Schlossberg’s unexpected friendship with the late prime minister.

Schlossberg recently took to social media to share a tribute to the slain prime minister. “Transformational leader,” Schlossberg tweeted of Abe, “committed to democracy, the rule of law and the U.S.-Japan alliance.” He continued, “The legacy lives on in the strength of the Japanese people and the ties that unite our two nations.” Schlossberg also shared that Abe attended his 23rd birthday party, which his mother developed.

“Prime Minister Abe was a very formal leader, but in our case he also had a deep affinity for the United States and a great admiration for our democracy. He and his wife showed me great kindness on several occasions that went beyond the official,” she recounted.

“One of the most thoughtful things he did was show up at my son’s birthday party as a surprise,” she explained. “My son had great admiration for Prime Minister Abe as a leader. He came to the restaurant – I hadn’t told my son and suddenly he saw the Prime Minister walking through the restaurant and his face of Jack was The Prime Minister went out of his way to do this, and it was an incredibly meaningful gesture for me and our family – a way for him to show how much he appreciated our personal friendship as well as the relationship between our two country. .”

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