Rahm Emanuel, the new U.S. ambassador to Japan, arrived in Japan on Jan. 23, filling a key post that has been vacant for more than two years and taking on the crucial task of enhancing the two countries’ alliance amid China’s growing assertiveness in the region.
The 62-year-old former top aide to former President Barack Obama is known for his close ties with President Joe Biden.
Emanuel gained the trust of Biden when he was White House chief of staff from 2009 to 2010 for Obama, whom Biden served as vice president.
“Today we face a critical juncture. But our nations can confront common challenges, united in the belief about shared values, our shared interest and our shared goals,” Emanuel said in a video message posted on the U.S. ambassador’s official Twitter account, a day after arriving in Japan.
The U.S. ambassadorial post had been vacant since William Hagerty stepped down in July 2019 to run for the Senate.
Emanuel also served as Chicago’s mayor for two terms from 2011 to 2019 and was a member of the House of Representatives from 2003 to 2009. Known for his abrasive style, he was nicknamed “Rahmbo” after Sylvester Stallone’s fictional character Rambo. (Kyodo)