Thousands of well-wishers lined Tokyo's streets Tuesday to catch a glimpse of Caroline Kennedy, the incoming U.S. ambassador, who met with Japan's emperor in an elaborate ceremony.
Kennedy, 55, smiled and waved to the crowds as she rode in a century-old horse-drawn carriage to the Imperial Palace to present her credentials to Emperor Akihito.
Though it is customary for incoming ambassadors to meet the emperor, Kennedy's procession received an unusual amount of attention, and was shown live on several Japanese television broadcasters.
Kennedy is the only living child of the late U.S. President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated 50 years ago this week. She is also the first female U.S. ambassador to Japan.
Following the ceremony, Kennedy tweeted: "Honored to present my credentials to His Majesty the Emperor of Japan. What a memorable day!"
Her time as ambassador comes as the White House attempts to carry out its so-called strategic and military "rebalance" toward Asia.
Japan, which has the world's third largest economy, is one of the region's key U.S. allies. It is Washington's fourth largest trading partner and is home to 50,000 U.S. troops.