print PRINT


The abnormal situation of no U.S. envoy to Japan

  • December 1, 2019
  • , Sentaku , p. 11
  • JMH Translation

A U.S. envoy to Japan has yet to be appointed following the resignation of Ambassador William Hagerty in July this year. A diplomatic source voices concern, saying, “There may be no U.S. ambassador to Japan until the presidential election slated for next November.” It is unusual for the post to remain unfilled for longer than a year.


Japanese media outlets once reported the rumor that U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand Scott Brown, who is close to President Donald Trump, might be appointed U.S. ambassador to Japan, but no action has been taken. The appointment of an ambassador requires the Senate approval. Given the current political situation in the U.S., the appointment of an ambassador to Japan will certainly face a difficult journey.


At present, former Deputy Chief of Mission Joseph Young serves as chargé d’affaires ad interim and former Minister Counselor for Economic and Science Affairs Nicholas Hill as acting deputy chief of mission. Both are career diplomats. However, they don’t have close ties with the White House. The sense that there has been a “downgrading” in U.S. diplomatic representation in Japan can’t be denied. Chargé d’Affaires ad interim Young’s three-year term will expire next summer, and he will likely take up an assignment in Washington. 


“I know the Japanese government wants a U.S. ambassador who can directly speak with President Trump by phone at any time,” said a U.S. government source. However, the appointment of a U.S. ambassador to Japan seems to have been put on the back burner.

  • Ambassador
  • Ukraine
  • COVID-19
  • Trending Japan