May 21, 2009 10:24
John Roos, a lawyer without diplomatic experience, has been nominated as the next U.S. ambassador to Japan. The campaign supporter of U.S. President Barack Obama was picked over Joseph Nye, a Harvard University professor who was believed the likelier candidate.
A graduate of Stanford University Law School, Roos has chiefly handled mergers and acquisitions of IT businesses in Silicon Valley. He still is the head of a law firm and has no political or diplomatic experience. Nor does he seem to have any previous relationship with Japan, the Asahi Shimbun reports.
But Roos has had a close relationship with Obama since he threw a fund-raising party at his home in February 2007 before Obama joined the Democratic Party's presidential race. The New York Times last August called him one of the biggest fundraisers for the Obama camp.
Tokyo had welcomed rumors of Nye's appointment as a token that the Obama administration values ties with Japan but has made no comment on news of Roos' nomination.
Earlier, Obama nominated Utah Governor Jon Huntsman (49), a China expert seen as one of the Republican Party's next presidential hopefuls, as the next ambassador to China. "Given the breadth of issues at stake in our relationship with China, this ambassadorship is as important as any in the world," Obama said.
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