The latest round of the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Thomas S. Foley Legislative Exchange began with the arrival of eleven members of Japan’s National Diet in Washington April 29 and 30. The delegation from Japan included House of Councillors members Yukihisa Fujita (Democratic Party, DP), Iwao Horii (Liberal Democratic Party, LDP), Kuniko Inoguchi (Co-Chair) (LDP), Hiroe Makiyama (DP), and Motohiro Ono (DP) and House of Representatives members Shinichi Isa (Komeito), Shuhei Kishimoto (National Democratic Party, NDP), Masaharu Nakagawa (Co-Chair) (DP), Keisuke Suzuki (LDP), Naokazu Takemoto (LDP), and Kozo Yamamoto (LDP). The Diet members’ first day included meetings with government and policy experts including: former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs Dave Shear (McLarty Associates), Assistant USTR for Japan, Korea and APEC Michael Beeman, Deputy USTR for Japan David Boling, and Executive Secretary of the National Space Council Scott Pace. On May 1, the Diet delegation was briefed on U.S. electoral and political affairs by Chris Nelson (Editor, The Nelson Report) and on a range of issues before Congress by experts from the Congressional Research Service and senior staff from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and House of Representatives. The bilateral part of the exchange concluded with discussions with U.S. Representatives Mark Takano (Democrat, California) and Eleanor Holmes Norton (Democrat, D.C.) and a welcome reception hosted by organizations including the Mansfield Foundation, the Japan Center for International Exchange, the Japan-United States Friendship Commission, U.S. CULCON, and the Congressional Study Group. See next week’s update for details about the U.S.-Japan-Korea trilateral part of the Foley Exchange.
The Foley Exchange seeks to build lasting relationships among legislators from the United States, Japan, and Korea. Several of the legislators in Washington this week participated in the 2016 and 2017 exchanges as well as the April 2018 exchange in Tokyo. That exchange included an opportunity for U.S. Representatives Jim Sensenbrenner (Republican-Wisconsin) and Mark Takano to meet with Prime Minister Abe. Please click here to see a video of the discussion recently posted by the Cabinet Office. The Foley Exchange is a partnership between the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission and the Mansfield Foundation, and also is supported by the Japan Economic Foundation and the Korean National Assembly Parliamentary Office.