Connecting People & Ideas to Advance Mutual Interests in U.S.-Asia Relations

Members of Japan’s National Diet and Korea’s National Assembly traveled to Washington this week to take part in the latest Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Thomas S. Foley Legislative Exchange, which began with U.S.-Japan bilateral meetings on July 25.

“The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation is honored to host this meeting of lawmakers from the United States, Japan, and Korea,” Mansfield Foundation President and CEO Frank Jannuzi said. “As three important stakeholders in the region, our countries all benefit from regular discussion. The Mansfield Foundation has facilitated the Foley Exchange for years and will continue to foster this trilateral dialogue.”

The seven participating Diet Members included Delegation co-chairs Ms. Inoguchi Kuniko (LDP, Upper House) and Mr. Nakagawa Masaharu (DP, Lower House), as well as Mr. Yamamoto Kozo (LDP, Lower House), Mr. Takemoto Naokazu (LDP, Lower House), Mr. Toyama Kiyohiko (Komeito, Upper House), Mr. Suematsu Yoshinori (DP, Lower House), and Mr. Tajima Kaname (DP, Lower House).

The eight participating National Assembly members included: Delegation chair Mr. Chung Sye Kyun (Democratic Party of Korea), Mr. Kim Se Yeon (Liberty Korea Party), Mr. Yu Eui Dong (Bareunmirae Party), Mr. Lee Soo Hyuck (Democratic Party of Korea), Mr. Lee Sang Don (Bareunmirae Party), Mr. Choi Gyo Il (Liberty Korea Party), and Ms. Park Kyung Mee (Democratic Party of Korea).

The trilateral component of the Foley Exchange began with a July 25 dinner, which was attended by U.S. delegation co-chair Mark Takano (D-CA), as well as Representative Judy Chu (D-CA). Guests included Japanese Deputy Chief of Mission Aikawa Kazutoshi, Minister Cheon Joon Ho of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea, State Department official Marc Knapper (Deputy Assistant Secretary for Japan and Korea, and Ms. Heather Foley, widow and senior staff to speaker and ambassador Thomas Foley.

On July 26, the legislators gathered at the U.S. Capitol for trilateral dialogues in three key issue areas: Regional relationships, the future of the Asian-Pacific economic architecture, and aligning shared goals in the face of regional security concerns. In addition to Congressmen Mark Takano and French Hill (R-AR), former Congressman Dan Maffei (D-NY) participated in the discussions.

Many of the legislators who participated in this week’s exchange were also part of previous delegations of the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Thomas S. Foley Legislative Exchange, a public-private partnership between the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission and the Mansfield Foundation. A delegation of five members of the U.S. Congress visited their counterparts in Tokyo and Seoul in March of this year.