In August, the twenty-third class of Mike Mansfield Fellows participated in orientation activities in Tokyo, prior to beginning their placements within the Japanese government.
On Monday, August 27, the nine participants met with representatives of the National Personnel Authority (NPA) and the host agencies for their first placements. On Tuesday, the Fellows received a briefing at the U.S. Embassy and met with Mansfield Vice President Benjamin Self and Associate Director of Programs Stephanie Sanders. The group discussed the U.S.-Japan relationship, how to make the most of their ten months of placements with Japanese agencies, and the benefits of working with Diet members.
On August 28, the Fellows were welcomed at a reception at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, hosted by the Mansfield Foundation, MOFA, and the NPA. About 200 guests attended, representing host agencies, the Japanese Diet, U.S. Embassy Tokyo, and other well-wishers. Each Fellow gave short aisatsu remarks in Japanese, greeting the guests and partner organizations.
The next week, the Fellows toured Japan’s National Diet Building. As a part of their orientation with the National Personnel Authority, the Fellows visited Japan’s House of Councillors, the upper house of Japan’s legislature. The Fellows also met with Mr. Kohei Akiyama, the Acting Director of the North America Exchange Division, North American Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The nine Fellows from this year’s class began their placements with Japanese government agencies on September 3.