April 24, 2014 at 8:26 AM ET
Caroline Kennedy defended a controversial tweet about Japan's annual dolphin hunt that she posted shortly after her installation as U.S. ambassador to the country.
Kennedy said Thursday she had no regrets speaking out about the “inhumaneness“ about the dolphin hunt, which is considered a national tradition.
“No, absolutely not. That was a U.S. policy,” she told NBC’s Chuck Todd.
Her tweet surprised Japanese officials, who reacted by calling her comments hypocritical because of American consumption of beef, poultry and lamb.
“I hope I’m an effective ambassador, and sometimes that means working behind the scenes and sometimes that means speaking out,” said Kennedy, who took up her new residence in late November.
Once a potential candidate for a U.S. Senate seat in 2009, Kennedy had some fun with Todd after being asked whether she would consider another run for office.
“I wouldn’t consider running in Japan, no,” she said. “I doubt that I would ever run in the United States either.”
Kennedy admitted her Japanese language skills were minimal when she started her current job.
"I knew, not a lot before I came — and I still know not a lot," she said with a laugh. "There's a lot to learn. It's a complicated language but I think it gives you great insight into their culture."