Thursday, March 19, 2015



Tokyo, Japan (JFK+50) Today, March 19, 2015, at Waseda University* here in Tokyo, the very first international symposium on President John F. Kennedy got underway.  The title of the event is "The Torch Has Been Passed:  John F. Kennedy's Legacy Today."

The symposium includes policymakers from Japan and the United States as well as scholars, and business and industrial leaders from both nations.  In attendance are Prime Minister Shinzo Abe** of Japan and former United States President William Jefferson Clinton.

The United States Ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy said...

"I hope that the discussion here today will help you decide how you can make your own contribution to freedom and democracy -- and that 50 years from now, you will return here to Waseda to share your wisdom with another generation committed to peace."

The Ambassador showed no signs of concern about her own safety despite the report that there had been a recent threat on her life.  According to today's New York Times, the Japanese police "are investigating telephoned death threats" directed at the Ambassador, as well as threats made on the life of American Consul General Alfred Magleby based in Okinawa.

The Times reports that a male caller, to the United States Embassy in Tokyo, threatened..."I will kill Ambassador Kennedy."  The U.S. State Department is taking these threats "seriously" and has put in place more than adequate "protection."

These threats are even more worrysome  due to the recent knife attack on the United States Ambassador to South Korea and the fact that both former President Clinton and the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, are in attendance at the symposium.  Mrs. Obama is in the midst of an Asian tour intended to emphasize the importance of girls education.

*Waseda University, located in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan, was founded in 1882.  It is considered one of the country's most prestigious institutions of higher learning.  Today it has more than 44,000 undergraduates & 9,000 postgraduates.  Seven Japanese prime ministers have been among its alumni.

**Shinzo Abe, born in Nagato in 1954, is Japan's 1st prime minister born after WWII.  SA was educated at Seikei University and the University of Southern California.  He is president of the Liberal Democratic Party.  


"Japan Investigates Threats Against U.S. Ambassador," by Martin Fackler and Rick Gladstone, The New York Times, March 19, 2015.

The John F. Kennedy Library and Museum, Boston, Massachusetts,

Ambassador Caroline Kennedy
University of Waseda
Tokyo, Japan
John F. Kennedy Library Photo