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Jen Psaki on Rahm Emanuel being tapped for Japan ambassador: ‘I know there’s a lot of interest in this’

“I do expect we’ll have more in the coming weeks on nominating ambassadors,” Psaki said, “to serve in — obviously, once confirmed — important posts around the world, and Japan is certainly one of those.”

White House Press Secretary Psaki Briefs Media
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked Thursday about Rahm Emanuel being tapped to be the U.S. Ambassador to Japan.
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — The pending nomination of former Mayor Rahm Emanuel to be ambassador to Japan — unless there is a last minute glitch — sparked White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki to note on Thursday, “I know there’s a lot of interest in this.”

Psaki was asked about reports of Emanuel being in line for the appointment and what the Biden White House will “expect from the ambassador to Japan.”

Emanuel’s likely nomination has gained the most attention of any of the names being floated for the ambassadorships President Joe Biden has yet to fill. While some ambassadors are picked from the ranks of top fundraisers or the foreign service, Emanuel, the first chief of staff to ex-President Barack Obama, is in the pipeline because he is close to Biden and his top aides.

“I do expect we’ll have more in the coming weeks on nominating ambassadors,” Psaki said, “to serve in — obviously, once confirmed — important posts around the world, and Japan is certainly one of those: important partner in the region, important partner in addressing stability and security in the region. And certainly, we would see that person as someone who would play an integral role.”