US Senate confirms former Chicago mayor Emanuel to serve as ambassador to Japan

The US Senate confirmed on Saturday morning that President Joe Biden’s candidate Rahm Emanuel would serve as ambassador to Japan, despite questions about the murder of a black teenager by a white police officer while Emanuel was mayor of Chicago. The Senate approved Emanuel by a 48-21 vote in a midnight session, with three of Biden’s fellow Democrats voting against his nomination.

Emanuel is a former member of the House of Representatives and was the first White House chief of staff when President Barack Obama was president and Biden was vice president. Supporters have backed him for the Tokyo post because of his long public service career as Washington looks to Asian allies such as Japan to fight the rise of China.

Critics have said they will not back Emanuel because of his handling of the seven-year-old shooting of Laquan McDonald, 17, who died after Police Station Jason Van Dyke fired his gun multiple times. Then-mayor Emanuel’s handling of the case was criticized, not least because a video showing the shooting has not been released for more than a year.

Van Dyke was convicted of second degree murder and jailed for nearly seven years and four Chicago police officers were fired over McDonald’s death, which exposed racial tensions in the third largest city in the United States. Biden appointed Emanuel in August. During his confirmation hearing in October, Emanuel said he thinks about McDonald’s death every day and that as mayor he is responsible and accountable.

(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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