More than 30 ambassadors and other Biden administration nominees were also confirmed.
"I'm humbled and appreciative of President Biden's confidence he has placed in me and grateful for the Senate's bipartisan support," Emanuel said in a tweet. "As Ambassador, I will work tirelessly to deepen our ties as our countries confront common challenges. While Chicago will always be home, Amy and I look forward to this next chapter in Japan."
I’m humbled and appreciative of President Biden’s confidence he has placed in me and grateful for the Senate’s bipartisan support, especially from @SenatorDurbin and @SenDuckworth. Our 60-year-old alliance with Japan promotes peace and prosperity. (1/3)— Rahm Emanuel (@RahmEmanuel) December 18, 2021
Eight Republicans ended up voting with a majority of Democrats to confirm Emanuel in a vote of 48-21.
Emanuel also served as White House Chief of Staff during the Obama administration.
President Joe Biden nominated Emanuel for the position back in August.
"Rahm Emanuel has a lifetime of public service preparing him for this role," said Illinois Senator Dick Durbin in a statement. "Japan is an important strategic partner in Asia, particularly in light of our continued challenges from China. I have no doubt Rahm will be a strong voice for America in Japan."