FILE PHOTO: U.S. ambassador to Japan William Hagerty speaks during the Wall Street Journal CEO Conference in Tokyo, Japan May 15, 2018. REUTERS/Toru Hanai
TOKYO (Reuters) – U.S. Ambassador to Japan William Hagerty will run to be the next Tennessee senator, President Donald Trump announced on Twitter on Friday, giving Hagerty his strong endorsement.
The longtime Republican senator from Tennessee, Lamar Alexander, announced in December he would not seek re-election in 2020.
“Tennessee loving Bill Hagerty, who was my Tennessee Victoy (sic) Chair and is now the very outstanding Ambassador to Japan, will be running for the U.S. Senate,” Trump said on the social network.
“He is strong on crime, borders & our 2nd A. Loves our Military & our Vets. Has my Complete & Total Endorsement!”
Embassy spokesman Jonas Stewart declined immediate comment.
After replacing Caroline Kennedy in 2017, Hagerty has held the job for nearly two years during which the United States and Japan have engaged in tough trade negotiations.
A Tennessee native who founded a private equity firm, Hagerty Peterson, and spent several years in Japan with the Boston Consulting Group management consultancy, Hagerty later served in the White House of former President George H.W. Bush.
Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Clarence Fernandez