Caroline Kennedy Has Empowered Women as Japan's First Female US Ambassador

Ambassador Caroline Kennedy — daughter of former President John F. Kennedy — will depart from Japan next week after three years of diplomacy.

In reflection of her service, one of the strongest takeaways that some Japanese politicians echo is that she championed women’s empowerment across the board.

Not to mention, she was the first woman to hold her position.

"I just think being a woman ambassador, and I think visible women in positions of leadership, does help change attitudes," Kennedy said at the United States Embassy in Tokyo.

Despite criticism stemmed from her lack of experience prior to the role, colleagues say "she leveraged the good will associated with her family name — as well as her close ties to President Obama — to build strong relationships with people in the Japanese government, business community and broader public," The New York Times reports.

Before Kennedy, there were only male ambassadors as it is rare for women to hold any kind of positions of authority in Japan, The Times reports.

Kennedy's influence in Japan was well aligned with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's aspirations for "women to play a larger role in business and politics."

"She always talked about the history of women's empowerment in the United States, which wasn't always a stellar track record either, to say how far everybody has come," said Kathy Matsui, chief Japan equity strategist at Tokyo's Goldman Sachs, and adviser to the Prime Minister on women's issues.

Though it is unclear what Kennedy will pursue when she returns to New York, she does plan on staying connected with Japan, where her impact is sure to have a lasting impression.

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