All Saturday papers reported on the Senate’s approval on Thursday of President Trump’s nomination of William Hagerty as the next ambassador to Japan. Describing the ambassador-designate as a successful business consultant and investor who is very knowledgeable about Japan, the papers wrote that he is expected to play a key role in trade negotiations with Japan. Asahi speculated that Hagerty will be a tough negotiator in talks with Tokyo.
Yomiuri wrote that although Ambassador-designate Hagerty’s diplomatic skills remain to be seen, he is expected to make efforts to strengthen security cooperation with Japan. The paper also wrote that since Hagerty worked on President Trump’s transition team, he has close ties with the President, Secretary of State Tillerson, and other senior members of the administration. The paper added that Hagerty and his wife have four children and that he is involved in the Boy Scouts of America.
Nikkei wrote that the selection of Hagerty as the next ambassador to Japan is in line with Tokyo’s wish for someone with a strong connection to the White House to take up the post. However, the paper wrote that Hagerty may place tough demands on Japan in order to achieve the Trump administration’s goal of expanding Japan’s investment in the U.S. and reducing the U.S. trade deficit with Japan.
Pointing out Hagerty’s lack of diplomatic experience, Asahi wrote that it remains to be seen whether he will be able to exercise leadership in addressing security issues in East Asia, including North Korea’s nuclear and missile development and China’s maritime advancement.
Sankei speculated that close coordination with the GOJ in responding to North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs will be the most pressing task for the new ambassador.