The 11th Australian delegation of the Australia-Japan Young Political Leaders Exchange program visited Tokyo, Kobe, and Kyoto from May 27 to June 5, 2001.
In Tokyo, the delegation, led by Christopher Pyne MP, held several discussion sessions with some of the leading political figures of Japan such as Kenji Kosaka, Senior Vice Minister for Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications; Taku Yamasaki, Secretary-General of the Liberal Democratic Party; and Takenori Kanzaki, Representative of New Komeito. As the Koizumi Cabinet has just been launched, most of the discussions centered around the issue of the future of the Koizumi Cabinet. Furthermore, some of the delegates expressed their interests in issues such as Japan’s views on collective security, equal opportunity policy, economic policy, and education policy; they enthusiastically exchanged the views with their Japanese counterparts.
After completing the program in Tokyo, the delegation visited Kobe. The focus there was placed on the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake of 1995 and the city’s recovery process and plan. The delegates exchanged their views with various local officials such as Kazuhiro Fujimoto, Vice Governer of Hyogo prefecture, and Yasuo Maeno, Deputy Mayor of Kobe City. The delegates visited the Akashi Bridge and Center for Developmental Biology as examples of area development initiated and conducted by local government; they also visited Co-op Kobe to examine the status of local business.
As Kobe and Brisbane are sister cities, a welcome reception hosted by the Kobe Japan-Australia Society was held to strengthen the relationship between the two cities. The program not only enhanced the relations between the two cities but also the relationship between Japan and Australia as a whole.
NERINA LEWIS [Delegation Leader], Vice President of Winthrop Branch of the Liberal Party
Australian Labor Party
MARK McGOWAN MLA, WA Member for Rockingham
MARGARET KEECH MP, Qld Member for Albert
JACKLYN TRAD, Policy Adviser to the Qld Minister for Education
DIANE BROWN, Policy Adviser to Senator Stephen Conroy, Federal Shadow Minister for Financial Services and Regulation
GERALD ANDERSON, Member of the National Party Central Council, Accounting Financial Manager, Commonwealth Treasury
Australian Political Exchange Council
CHRISTINE BRITON, Executive Officer