Trump's pick for Japan envoy likely to be scrapped

US President Donald Trump's nomination for Washington's next ambassador to Japan is likely to be scrapped now that the current session of Congress is all but over. The incoming administration of Joe Biden is expected to name a new nominee.

Trump nominated Kenneth Weinstein, president and CEO of the conservative Hudson Institute think tank, in March this year.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved Weinstein's nomination in September. The full Senate had still to vote to confirm him, when the Congressional session effectively ended on Monday.

The new Congress will reflect the results of the congressional election held at the same time as November's presidential vote.

The post of US ambassador to Japan has been vacant since William Hagerty resigned in July last year to run for a Senate seat.

It is expected to remain unoccupied for some time after Biden takes office in January, as the confirmation process for a nominee will take several months at least.