The granddaughter of the Emperor Meiji of Japan, Princess Kaoru Nakamaru spent her early childhood in the Forbidden Castle in China. Later at Columbia University and in graduate school she furthered her research into international politics, and as a journalist since 1970 has interviewed kings, presidents, prime ministers, and business people from many countries.
She has given speeches, written books, and appeared on television as a commentator on international political affairs. In 1973, she was acclaimed in the U.S. magazine Newsweek as “The World’s No.1 Interviewer,” and the Washington Post described her as “one of those rare women in the world with an outstanding international sensitivity.”
Princess Nakamaru has been the producer, director, and interviewer of her own Japan/U.S. talk show, for which she traveled to war-torn areas around the world and carried out constructive discussions with the heads of state of those countries. Among those were Colonel Gadhafi of Libya and then-president Hussein of of Iraq—figures who were considered hostile by the West.
Princess Nakamaru even covered the front lines during the Iran-Iraq War (1980-88), and when one of her videos of it was shown to President Hussein, he suggested that the war be immediately halted. Her TV broadcasts in which she pressed President Hussein with the question, “Why is this war being continued?” and asked Colonel Gadhafi, “Are you really a terrorist?” drew strong reactions.
From those experiences, she exerted her energy into “personal diplomacy,” serving as a go-between among warring countries using her own funds. Since her days as an interviewer, she has traveled to as many as 186 countries, and she bears all expenses to finance her personal diplomacy.
Kaoru’s network of contacts includes many big names, of whom the staff at TV stations say, “Even with our connections, there is no way we can approach these people,” This is due to the fact that Kaoru, who is not affiliated with any organization, travels the world at her own expense and as a private citizen. Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gadhafi, top North Korean leaders, and other important figures whom Western journalists are unable to meet, will agree to talk with her. The main reason is that, “Princess Nakamaru is not a person who is moved by personal motives, and thus we consider a meeting with her.”
HISTORY OF ACTIVITIES
- 1963: After graduating from Columbia University, traveled around the world learning through experience the flow of politics, economics, and culture.
- 1971: Published her first work Diplomacy with America, Diplomacy with China, (Simul Press). Fusing academism and journalism, it was acclaimed as a practical political handbook.
- 1973: Began an interview talk show called “Kaoru Nakamaru: The World’s Movers” on Television Tokyo and its 36 affiliates throughout Japan.
- 1974: Became a member of the Japan Ministry of Trade and Industry Council, a position she held for four terms (8 years).
- 1975: Awarded the Decoration of Independence from King Hussein of Jordan.
- 1975: Published Following the Sun: The Autobiography of Kaoru Nakamaru, (Bungei Shunju, Tokyo).
- 1980: Became an advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan Center for Intercultural Communications.
- 1983: At the invitation of President Saddam Hussein, visited Iraq for one month. During that time, with the presidential plane at her disposal, she proceeded to the front lines of the Iran-Iraq war and observed young Iranian prisoners of war. After videotaping their plight, she showed the tape to President Hussein, who was moved to petition for the immediate end to the fighting.
- 1983: “Following the Sun,” an interview show featuring Kaoru Nakamaru, began broadcasting on PBS with its 380-station network. In an interview, Libya’s leader, Moammar Gadhafi, stated that, “I am against America’s political policies, but I maintain good feelings toward America itself. I am prepared to talk with America.” There was pressure to cut this pronouncement from the network show, but using her own funds, she acquired this program herself and aired it with all the scenes intact.
- 1985: Her International Affairs Institute for World Peace was recognized as a foundation by the U.S. government.
- 1987: Made television appearances and speeches while based in New York City.
- 1989: Organized the first “World Peace International Symposium,” held at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. The day before, Princess Nakamaru gave a speech about the concept of the Symposium at the United Nations and received the endorsement of over 100 countries. A few days later, Princess Nakamaru received a visit from a special envoy from Kim Jong-il, who sent a message saying that, “It is truly wonderful that a private citizen can sponsor a symposium like that. Next time, please invite our country, too.” This was the initiation of her relations with North Korea.
- 1989: Visited the former Soviet Union for two weeks as a state guest.
- 1994: Established the “Following the Sun Association” in Tokyo, whose mission is “World peace through human renaissance.”
- 1994: In July, made her first visit to North Korea as a guest of Kim Il-sung, the leader of the country at that time. Three days before a private interview, Kim Il-sung passed away unexpectedly and footage she took of the situation within the city of Pyongyang was aired on NHK, South Korea’s KBC, and CNN among others, and this refuted the rumor of a coup d'état that was circulating in the West. Subsequently, through Kim Jong-il and Kim Yong-sun, General Secretary of the Worker Party, her exchanges with North Korea deepened as Princess Nakamaru negotiated to allow another Japanese woman to return for a temporary visit to her country, as well as making efforts toward realization of a summit meeting between South and North Korea.
- 1995: Held the Conference on the Vision for the 21st Century and Religion, for which 1,000 religious figures from around the world gathered at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City.
- 1996: Visited North Korea as a state guest for one month.
- 1997: Concentrated on speeches and writing in Japan. From this time until 2009, Princess Nakamaru has published 40 books.
- 1998: In February, visited Iraq to avert air bombardment by the U.S. military. In March, she was hosted as a state guest and met with the head of the Iraqi government.
- 1998: Began publishing “Kaoru Nakamaru’s World Report,” an official monthly newsletter of the Following the Sun Association.
- 2000: Visited Iran as a state guest and delivered a keynote speech at the Ceremony Commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the Iranian Revolution.
- 2004: Selected for inclusion in the American Biographical Institute’s “Great Women of the 21st Century” and “Great Minds of the 21st Century,” the world’s most authoritative listing. In addition, she was selected for the U.K.’s International Biographical Centre’s “2,000 Outstanding Intellectuals of the 21st Century.”
- 2008: Established the Institute for International Problems. Published the “World Report for International Affairs,” an official monthly publication.
- 2009: Using Skype, Princess Kaoru began giving speeches targeted at the U.S., Europe, etc., attracting large audiences.
- 2012: Visited North Korea and met with many notable figures to discuss world peace and promote North/South reconciliation.
- 2013: Conducted international symposia throughout the world to promote world peace based on human spiritual revival.
- 2013: Invited to the ASEAN Conference in Brunei.
- 2014: Invited to London as a guest speaker of the New Humanity Movement and Rising Earth Event.
- 2015: Invited to Los Angeles as a guest speaker at the Survival of Humanity Conference.
- 2018: Princess Kaoru Nakamaru's historic series "Following the Sun" is released online for the first time.