Rahm showers Chicago blues, baseball treasures on Japanese dignitaries

The new U.S. ambassador to Japan has been busy giving gifts in his new job.

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U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida show off the Chicago baseball jerseys the former Chicago mayor gifted to Kishida.


A diplomatic dispatch

Rahm’s been busy.

As the new U.S. ambassador to Japan, former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been gift giving — a critical element of Japanese culture.

Since taking his post in Tokyo, Rahm has brought gifts to a who’s who of Japanese leaders from a who’s who of Chicago royalty.

• Play ball! To Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, a passionate baseball fan, Rahm gave customized Cubs and White Sox jerseys emblazoned with the number 100 — honoring Kishida’s position as the nation’s 100th prime minister.

(The kicker? Rahm even had the Cubs put Kishida’s name up in lights on the famous Wrigley Field marquee!)


Emanuel had Kishida’s name put in the Wrigley Field marquee.


• Yum! To Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Kōichi Hagiuda, Rahm gave an autographed cookbook from Michelin-starred Chicago chef Rick Bayless.

• Wear ‘em! To Japanese National Security Advisor Akiba Takeo, whose daughter is attending the University of Chicago, Rahm gave a Chicago Fire soccer jersey and a “University of Chicago Dad” shirt.

• Gulp! To Japanese Minister of State for Gender Equality, Seiko Noda, Rahm gifted a bottle of Koval from the Chicago distillery.

• Strap ‘em: To Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, a musician and mega Rock & Roll music lover, Rahm gave an autographed guitar strap and CD from Chicago Blues legend Buddy Guy.

Sneed hears Rahm’s boss, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, is also a mega music fan. Is a new guitar strap in Blinken’s future now that Hayashi boasted of Rahm’s gift to him?

Ah, international diplomacy … Chicago style.


Emanuel presents Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi with an autographed guitar strap from Buddy Guy.


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