Hagerty Statement on the Confirmation of Rahm Emanuel as U.S. Ambassador to Japan

December 18, 2021

WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released the following statement after the Senate voted to confirm Mayor Rahm Emanuel to succeed him as the next U.S. Ambassador to Japan:

“Congratulations to my successor and our next U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel. Given the significant challenges in the Indo-Pacific and the need for the United States to demonstrate strength in the region, I believe strongly that this position has remained vacant for far too long, which is why it was a priority for me to help confirm a nominee. Though our political backgrounds couldn’t be more different, Ambassador Emanuel shares my unwavering conviction that the U.S.-Japan relationship is the cornerstone of peace and prosperity in one of the most strategically important regions of the world. Through our lengthy conversations, he demonstrated his understanding of the challenges as well as the expectations, including his commitment to me to secure the timely release of Tennessean Greg Kelly from Japan’s inhumane and so-called ‘hostage justice system.’ I know firsthand that our new Ambassador’s days will not be easy, but that he—along with his family—are up to the task and will be warmly welcomed by the people of Japan. As the former Ambassador and member of the Senate, I will always be available to support our nation’s diplomatic presence in this critical region. I wish Ambassador Emanuel all the best as he begins his new and highly strategic role representing the United States of America.”