Ambassador Kennedy Meets High School Students, Attends Kunchi Festival in Nagasaki

October 7, 2016

On October 7, United States Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy met with students from Nagasaki Higashi High School and attended Kunchi Festival in Nagasaki City. Earlier in the day, she attended a ship naming ceremony at Oshima Shipyard and met with U.S. sailors who are stationed at Commander, Fleet Activities Sasebo.

At the school, she learned from the students about their projects to promote peace, global health, and the environment. She also encouraged the students to study in the United States, and shared the U.S. Mission to Japan’s new video collaboration with Japanese alumni of U.S. institutions of higher learning. The website, called "A Broader View", showcases inspirational stories from Japanese role models including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Ambassador Kennedy told the students: "Over the last 70 years Americans and Japanese have built an alliance based on friendship, respect, and close collaboration. We welcome the next generation of young Japanese to gain a ‘broader view’ by studying and living in the United States."

At the invitation of Nagasaki City Mayor Taue, Ambassador Kennedy attended Kunchi Matsuri. Ambassador Kennedy said: "I was honored to be a guest at this long-standing celebration of Nagasaki’s rich history, culture, and diversity. For centuries, Nagasaki has been the gateway to foreign cultures entering Japan, and each time I’ve visited this prefecture I’ve been impressed by its open and vibrant spirit." She added: "I’ve heard from many Japanese and Americans about how I must see the Kunchi Festival at least once, and tonight’s event lived up to its reputation. It’s no wonder this lively representation of Japan’s cultural history has continued for over 380 years."

"I have visited Nagasaki on multiple occasions and have gotten to know both Mayor Taue and Governor Nakamura well during my time as Ambassador to Japan.  Visits to the peace park and museum and attendance at the memorial ceremonies are experiences I will not forget.  At the same time, Mayor Taue encouraged me to learn more about the many sides of Nagasaki’s history, culture, and people, and I am pleased that this visit has allowed me to do so."