Rahm Emanuel draws attention to train travel in Japan

Rahm Emanuel attracts attention for the way he sometimes travels around Japan. The former mayor of Chicago is now the US ambassador to Japan, and his official embassy Twitter account frequently features photos of him traveling by train around the country.

“Love the really plush seats!” Ambassador Emanuel’s Twitter account On May 11, he got 63,000 likes and over 14,000 retweets.

“Japan’s world-class railway system is worthy of a world-class country. It did not disappoint,” Emanuel tweeted in February.

(more tweets here, here as well as here.)

Bloomberg first reported on Emanuel’s fondness for the trip to Japan.

“In the US, he is considered a tough guy, but in Japan he is considered simple-minded and compassionate,” Kazuhiro Maeshima, a professor of American politics at Sophia University in Tokyo, told Bloomberg. “When you type “Ram Emanuel” in Japanese in Google, you can see “Emanuel tetsuota‘ in the results. It’s a success,” he added, referring to the Japanese word for “railroad aficionado” or “train freak,” according to Bloomberg.

The article quoted a US embassy official as noting that previous ambassadors almost always traveled on official business in an armored vehicle.

As mayor of Chicago, Emanuel entered into an agreement with Elon Musk to dig a tunnel connecting O’Hare Airport and downtown Chicago for a futuristic 100 mph transit ride that would connect the two places in record time. The project never got off the ground – or in Earth. Emanuel’s predecessor, Laurie Lightfoot, closed the project shortly after taking office.

During his two terms at Chicago City Hall, Emanuel’s press office liked to publish photos of the mayor trying to look like a “man of the people” while using public transportation. Most of the time, the mayor drove a caravan of two cars with a driver.

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