ANTI-CHINA US AMBASSADOR
Emanuel, 63, previously served as an aide to former President Bill Clinton and as former President Barack Obama’s White House chief of staff, when he was known as an effective enforcer, nicknamed “Rahmbo”.
In 2010, he successfully ran for mayor of Chicago but decided not to seek re-election in 2019 following controversy over his decision not to release footage of the shooting of a Black teen, Laquan McDonald.
The combative Democrat is known for his use of colourful and sometimes profane language. At the start of his time at the Obama White House, he had a nameplate on his desk given to him by his brothers that read: “The Undersecretary for Go F*** Yourself”.
In Japan, his longstanding West Wing ties are seen as an advantage by the government of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, which is eager to tighten bonds with Washington, a senior Japanese official told Reuters.
Within China, Emanuel has a reputation as an anti-China ambassador, said Yun Sun, director of the China Program at the Stimson Center, adding that Beijing believes his position as ambassador to Japan should not afford him a role on relations between the US and China, which have been tense in recent years.
Emanuel has kept close ties with Biden, hosting him privately at the ambassador’s residence in Tokyo, and is closely connected with members of Biden’s inner circle, a rare direct line for an ambassador.
All of that suggests that the administration is unlikely to rein in its Japan ambassador.
“He’s developed an extremely close relationship with the Japanese to advance the alliance and US interests and is expressing his point of view,” said an administration official.
Source: Channel News Asia