July 16 (UPI) -- U.S. Ambassador to Japan Bill Hagerty announced Tuesday he will leave the diplomatic post, most likely to run for a vacant seat in the U.S. Senate.
Hagerty, a member of Trump's transition team in 2016, has served as Japan ambassador for two years.
"Ambassador Hagerty is honored to have represented the president and the American people in his work to advance the U.S.-Japan Alliance, the cornerstone of peace and prosperity in the Pacific," a statement from the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Japan said.
Joseph M. Young will take over the post in the interim.
Hagerty is expected to run for an open Senate seat in Tennessee, after former Gov. Bill Haslam announced last week he won't vie for the seat held since 2003 by Sen. Lamar Alexander. Alexander announced his retirement in December, and President Donald Trump endorsed Hagerty.
"[He is] the very outstanding Ambassador to Japan, will be running for the U.S. Senate," Trump tweeted. "Has my Complete & Total Endorsement!"
Hagerty took a leave of absence from his private equity investment firm in late 2016 to join the president's transition team. He was formerly a member of President George H.W. Bush's staff and served on the President's Council on Competitiveness. In Tennessee, he was a member of the governor's cabinet and commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development.
Tennessee Rep. David Kustoff and former state lawmaker Jamie Woodson are also considering a run for Alexander's seat.