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

Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Thomas S. Foley Legislative Exchange

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The Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Thomas S. Foley Legislative Exchange (Foley Exchange) is public-private partnership between the JUSFC and the Mansfield Foundation, which merges three pre-existing legislative exchange programs: the Thomas S. Foley Legislative Exchange, the U.S.-Japan Legislative Exchange Program (LEP) and the U.S.-Japan-South Korea Trilateral Legislative Exchange Program (TLEP).

Program Background

The Thomas S. Foley Legislative Exchange program was established in 2014 to honor the late Ambassador Thomas S. Foley, known for his long commitment to public service and his leadership in strengthening U.S.-Japan relations as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1965-1995), 57th Speaker of the House (1989-1995), and ambassador of the United States to Japan (1997-2001). Ambassador Foley believed in the importance of dialogue and regular exchanges between elected officials from the United States and Japan.

From 1989 to 2015, with funding from the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission, the George Washington University Elliott School of International Studies organized the U.S.-Japan Legislative Exchange Program (LEP). This longstanding initiative brought together more than 300 members of the U.S. Congress and members of Japan’s National Diet on a semi-annual basis for in-depth and informal discussions. The exchanges covered a broad range of political, economic, and security issues affecting U.S.-Japan relations. The LEP was later expanded to include South Korean National Assembly members (Trilateral LEP).

In 2016 these important programs were merged together under a vibrant public-private partnership between the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission and the Mansfield Foundation, resulting in the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Thomas S. Foley Legislative Exchange. Funding for the program is provided by the JUSFC, the Mansfield Foundation, the Japan Economic Foundation (JEF), and the Korean National Assembly Parliamentary Office.

Program Structure

Each year since the spring of 2016, the Mansfield Foundation has organized two Foley exchange meetings, including a spring meeting in Washington, D.C. and a winter meeting in Asia. The Spring meeting welcomes legislators from Japan and Korea (roughly eight and four, respectively) to Washington, D.C. Participants meet with their counterparts in the U.S. Congress as well as with representatives from the executive branch, the policy community, and the private sector. The winter meeting brings U.S. members of Congress (between two and five each year) to Tokyo (and, on alternating years, also Seoul) to interact with their counterparts in Japan and Korea. The exchange offers participants a unique opportunity for uniquely frank interactions with their counterparts as well as with each other.

Program Objectives

The objectives of the Foley Exchange are to:

♦ Build lasting relationships among U.S., Japanese, and Korean elected officials and policy experts, with a primary emphasis on the U.S.- Japan bilateral relationship

♦ Help cultivate a ”next generation” of U.S.-Asia leadership among legislators from the United States, Japan, and Korea

♦ Contribute to the participants’ understanding of policymaking processes and practices in each other’s countries

♦ Explore opportunities for cooperation on issues of mutual interest

Participants: Members of the U.S. Congress, the Diet of Japan, and the National Assembly of Korea

Sponsor: The Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission

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Program Updates

Foley Exchange Meeting: March 2019

Foley Exchange Meeting: March 2019

From March 18-23, the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation welcomed five members of the United States Congress to the Tokyo and Seoul meetings of the 2019 Foley Exchange. Representatives Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Mark Takano (D-CA), participants in last year’s...

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Foley Exchange Meeting: April 2018

Foley Exchange Meeting: April 2018

U.S. Representatives Jim Sensenbrenner (Republican-Wisconsin) and Mark Takano (Democrat-California) traveled to Tokyo on April 2, 2018 for meetings with their counterparts from Japan’s National Diet and Korea’s National Assembly. This was the second Asia visit under...

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Foley Exchange Meeting: May 2017

Foley Exchange Meeting: May 2017

Nine members of Japan’s National Diet were in Washington for the third round of the new Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Thomas S. Foley Legislative Exchange. The delegation included House of Councillors members Yukihisa Fujita (Democratic Party, DP), Iwao Horii...

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Foley Exchange Meeting: February 2017

Foley Exchange Meeting: February 2017

U.S. Representatives Jim Sensenbrenner (Republican-Wisconsin) and Joaquin Castro (Democrat-Texas) arrived in Tokyo for the start of the first Asia trip under the new Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission (JUSFC) Thomas S. Foley Legislative Exchange. The first day of the...

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Foley Exchange Meeting: May 2016

Foley Exchange Meeting: May 2016

The Mansfield Foundation and the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission (JUSFC) welcomed the first delegation of legislators to visit Washington under the new Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Thomas S. Foley Legislative Exchange.  Seven members of Japan’s National Diet and...

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Foley Exchange Meeting: April 2015

Foley Exchange Meeting: April 2015

The Foundation hosted the third Foley Exchange delegation that included Masako Mori (House of Councillors, LDP); Akihisa Nagashima (House of Representatives, DPJ); and Masahiko Shibayama (House of Representatives, LDP). Participants served as expert panelists at a...

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Foley Exchange Meeting: September 2014

Foley Exchange Meeting: September 2014

The five members of the second delegation to Washington, D.C. included Toru Ishizaki (House of Representatives, LDP); Takaaki Katsumata (House of Representatives, LDP); Shingo Miyake (House ofCouncillors, LDP); Ken Saito (House of Representatives, LDP); and Yuji...

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Thomas S. Foley Legislative Exchange

Thomas S. Foley Legislative Exchange

The Thomas S. Foley Legislative Exchange was launched in May 2014, with an inaugural delegation visit to Washington, D.C. This first delegation of five members of Japan’s House of Representatives included TatsuoFukuda (Liberal Democratic Party, LDP); Motohisa Furukawa...

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