On Monday, November 9th, the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation was honored to host the second virtual meeting of the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Thomas S. Foley Legislative Exchange. The session welcomed legislators from the U.S. House of Representatives, Japan’s National Diet, and the Republic of Korea’s National Assembly.
The four participating Diet members included delegation co-chairs Mr. Masaharu Nakagawa (CDP, Lower House) and Ms. Kuniko Inoguchi (LDP, Upper House), Mr. Kozu Yamamoto (LDP, Lower House), and Ms. Hiroe Makiyama (CDP, Upper House).
The National Assembly members in attendance included delegation chair Mr. Young-gil Song (Democratic Party of Korea), Mr. Jin Park (People Power Party), Mr. Han-jung Kim (Democratic Party of Korea,) and Mr. Tae-yong Cho (People Power Party).
Representatives from Congress included delegation co-leads Mr. Mark Takano (D-CA) and Mr. French Hill (R-AR), as well as Mr. Ami Bera (D-CA).
Mansfield Foundation President and CEO Frank Jannuzi moderated the discussion. The Mansfield Foundation also hosted special guests Ms. Heather Foley, widow and senior staff to speaker and ambassador Thomas Foley, Ms. Paige Cottingham-Streater, Executive Director of the Japan United States Friendship Commission, and Mr. Gerald Curtis, Chair of the Mansfield Foundation Board of Directors.
Although the Mansfield Foundation has conducted previous Foley Exchanges in-person in Washington, Tokyo, and Seoul, the global pandemic has restricted travel and physical meetings. Therefore, the Foundation has turned to virtual programming as an innovative way to continue fostering international cooperation and conversation. During this videoconference, the legislators discussed key issues in the trilateral relationship, including the recent U.S. election, leadership change in Japan, and relations with the People’s Republic of China. The legislators placed special importance on trilateral cooperation for peace and stability in the Pacific region.
The Mansfield Foundation looks forward to hosting future trilateral discussions, both virtual and in-person, between the United States, Japan, and the Republic of Korea.