Nightly News   |  September 19, 2013

Caroline Kennedy nominated as US ambassador to Japan

On Thursday, Caroline Kennedy appeared before the foreign relations committee to offer her qualifications to become U.S. ambassador, an appointment she said had special significance this year on the 50th anniversary of her father’s presidency. NBC’s Harry Smith reports.

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>>> finally tonight a famous daughter of a famous u.s. president went before congress uh today. caroline kennedy nominated as u.s. ambassador to japan , speaking today about her father and carrying on the family torch. we get the story tonight from nbc's harry smith .

>> reporter: as senate hearings go, this one was anything but ordinary.

>> i appreciate the confidence that president obama and secretary kerry have shown in nominating me caroline kennedy appeared before the foreign relations committee today to offer her qualifications to become united states ambassador to japan .

>> reporter: i can think of no greater honor than to represent my country abroad.

>> she was a little girl when her parents moved into the white house . the images of those days represent a more innocent time in our country. 50 years ago this fall her father was assassinated. her family, including teddy's widow was nearby this morning as she spoke.

>> reporter: this has a special significance as we commemorate the 50th anniversary of my father's presidency. i'm conscious of my responsibility to uphold the ideals he represented. a deep commitment to public service , a more just america and a more peaceful world .

>> history and legacy were more important this morning than party or partisanship. the daughter of a president said she wanted to fulfill her father's wish.

>> reporter: as a world war ii veteran who served in the pacific he hoped to be the first sitting president to make a state visit to japan. if confirmed as ambassador i would be humbled to carry forward his legacy in a small way and represent the powerful bonds that unite our democratic societies.

>> her father would have been proud. harry smith , nbc news, new york.

>> reporter: