Former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel appears poised to take on a high-profile ambassadorship for President Biden, a step likely to trigger contention with progressives who’ve balked at him taking a Cabinet role.

Emanuel is the front-runner to be Biden’s nominee as ambassador to Japan, sources familiar with the matter told The Hill.

He’s also being considered for the post in China, but sources said Japan is the more likely landing spot for former President Obama’s chief of staff. Former State Department official Nicholas Burns is the likely front-runner to end up in Beijing.

The diplomatic role in Asia would mark a high-profile return to the federal government for Emanuel, who built a reputation as a brash but effective political tactician in the Democratic Party.