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Obama to name Caroline Kennedy as ambassador to Japan

| Monday, April 1, 2013, 7:03 p.m.

WASHINGTON — President Obama plans to name Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy, as the next U.S. ambassador to Japan, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The vetting of Kennedy by the White House is almost complete, CNN reported. An early supporter of Obama in 2008, the 55-year-old Kennedy has agreed to the posting and the president has settled on her as his choice, but an announcement isn't expected until later this month, said the person, who requested anonymity.

By replacing Ambassador John Roos, a technology lawyer and Obama campaign donor, as the envoy in Tokyo, she would be a high-profile pick in a post that has been filled by Walter F. Mondale, the ex-vice president, and Mike Mansfield, a Senate majority leader.

A co-chair of Obama's 2012 campaign, Kennedy is one of several Obama political supporters and donors being reviewed for ambassadorships to top allies. Obama has drawn envoys from the political ranks at a higher rate than the historical average of 30 percent, according to the American Foreign Service Association. In his first term, Obama nominated 59 ambassadors, including 40 fundraising bundlers, who lacked experience in the diplomatic corps.

Matthew Barzun, finance chairman of Obama's 2012 campaign, is the leading candidate to be ambassador to the Court of St. James in London, according to the source.

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