Ambassador Kennedy Visits Tohoku on First Trip in Japan

Nov. 25, 2013

Ambassador Caroline Kennedy, making her first trip as Ambassador, visited the Tohoku region Nov. 25-26.

Remembering Operation Tomodachi in Sendai

In Sendai she met with General Toshiaki Tanaka, commander of the JSDF North Eastern Army, and discussed U.S.-Japan security cooperation. Later they visited a restored church that today commemorates U.S.-Japan cooperation during Operation Tomodachi after the 3.11 earthquake. Pictured are Ambassador Kennedy and her husband with General Tanaka standing between them.

How Do You Spell Friend?

Ambassador Kennedy also visited Mangoku-ura Elementary School in Ishinomaki, where students taught her how to write the kanji character for "friend" ("tomo") using traditional calligraphy brush and ink.

Reading to Elementary School Students

During Ambassador Kennedy's visit to Mangoku-ura Elementary School, she took time to read the classic "Where the Wild Things Are" to a group of sixth grade students previously taught by Taylor Anderson, an American JET (Japan Exchange Teaching Program) teacher who died in the March 11 tsunami. Ambassador Kennedy also donated over 100 books to the Taylor Anderson Memorial Reading Corner.

Meeting Residents of Tsunami-devastated Towns

AP Images

Residents from the Nakasemachi Temporary Housing Facility in Minami Sanriku shared their personal experiences with Ambassador Kennedy and explained how a knitting cooperative helped them heal from losses that include all but nine of the 198 homes in their neighborhood.