• Kyodo

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The United States has gained approval by Japan of President Donald Trump’s pick of William Hagerty as the next ambassador to Tokyo, sources familiar with bilateral relations said Monday.

Tokyo’s consent will pave the way for Trump to announce his nomination of Hagerty, 57, in the near future. Hagerty is expected to assume the post following Senate approval, succeeding Caroline Kennedy.

Hagerty is expected to handle a host of bilateral issues, ranging from the Trump administration’s calls for the further opening of Japan’s automobile and agriculture markets to the stalled relocation of a U.S. military base’s operations within Okinawa.

He has built ties with Japan through a three-year posting to Tokyo while working for the Boston Consulting Group, as well as his work as commissioner of economic development for Tennessee, assisting operations in his home state by Japanese companies, including Nissan Motor Co. and Bridgestone Corp.

Hagerty is said to have close ties with the Republican establishment, partly because he worked for the 2012 presidential campaign of Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

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