Just last month, the American Ambassador to South Korea, Mark Lippert, was brutally slashed with a 10-inch knife by an assailant while attending an event in Seoul. Fortunately, Lippert was not killed but he did receive serious wounds to his wrist and face. Now, Caroline Kennedy, Ambassador to Japan, is receiving death threats.
Authorities in Japan confirmed that threats against Kennedy’s life have been made, which are being taken seriously and thoroughly investigated. As reported, several phone calls to Tokyo’s US Embassy were received last month consisting of direct threats against the late President John F. Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy-Onassis’ daughter.
The 57-year-old Kennedy is an attorney, author, and Ambassador to Japan, with a history of fighting for women’s rights.
As stated by Marie Harf, deputy spokeswoman for the State Department, any threat to a US diplomat is serious and in order to protect personnel, everything possible will be done. She added that currently, the State Department is working with the Japan government to ensure Kennedy is safe. As to the exact details of the threats or measures being taken to handle the situation, no information was provided.
The story of the threats against Caroline Kennedy first broke after First Lady Michelle Obama went to Japan today as part of a five-day trip. During the trip, she will also visit Cambodia to discuss the value of girls getting proper education. Joining Obama is former President Bill Clinton, who along with Kennedy is planning to give a speech at a Tokyo university.
Alfred Magleby, US consul general who is based in Okinawa has also been the target of death threats. When police on the island were pressed for information about that case, they stressed that authorities in Tokyo had banned them from providing comments. In addition, the US Embassy refused to discuss the threats made against Kenney, saying it went against policy.
However, it has been reported that apparently, the individual who threatened Kennedy was English speaking. While there is so much that remains unknown, some people believe this might have something to do with blackmailing although that has not been confirmed.
In Japan, Kennedy is a high-profile individual who on a regular basis talks with crowds of people who gather at public events. As such, Tokyo police have stepped up security to ensure her safety while traveling abroad.