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Rahm Emanuel’s Senate confirmation hearing for U.S. Ambassador to Japan post to be held Wednesday

Emanuel’s hearing will be before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Chicago Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel, right, shares a laugh with Vice President Joe Biden during inaugural ceremonies Monday, May 16, 2011 in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Chicago Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel, right, shares a laugh with Vice President Joe Biden during inaugural ceremonies Monday, May 16, 2011 in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Charles Rex Arbogast, AP

WASHINGTON — Former Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s confirmation hearing to be the next U.S. Ambassador to Japan will take place Wednesday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The committee will take up the nominations of Emanuel and Jonathan Kaplan, who Biden tapped to be the next U.S. Ambassador to Singapore — a spot left vacant during the Trump administration.

Kaplan, a California tech entrepreneur and a Democratic donor, is known as the inventor of the Flip Video camera.

The position of U.S. ambassador to Japan has been empty since July 2019 when Bill Hagerty, nominated by former President Donald Trump, left the post to run for the Senate. When President Joe Biden nominated Emanuel for the job in August, Hagerty, now a Republican senator from Tennessee — and a member of the Foreign Relations Committee — congratulated Emanuel in a statement.

Since his nomination, Emanuel has been working the Senate side of Capitol Hill, talking to and meeting with senators as well as taking briefings, reading the Japanese press and doing other research about the nation.

Several Democratic-allied progressive groups are objecting to Emanuel because of his centrist politics and his record as Chicago mayor. They oppose Emanuel for any spot in the Biden administration, in part because of the 2014 Chicago police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald while Emanuel was mayor.