William Hagerty, Washington's new ambassador to Japan, expressed confidence Friday that his stint in Tokyo will be defined by the kind of "tight connection" and "understanding" that have shaped U.S. President Donald Trump's relationship with his closest friend among world leaders: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Speaking to members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan, Hagerty, a former businessman, described how he has witnessed Trump foster close ties with Abe since his victory in last November's presidential election.

Abe, he said, wasted no time in calling Trump to congratulate him on his victory. He also became the first foreign leader to visit the president-elect at Trump Tower in New York.