The eight Diet members of the Japanese delegation visited Australia on June 24-30, 1996, which coincided with the transition in the Australian government, after thirteen years of Labor party rule, to a new Liberal/National party coalition. Meeting with a diverse selection of federal and local officials in Canberra, Melbourne, and Sydney, the delegation heard firsthand the agenda of the new government and the just-created opposition.
The group, which was the 4th delegation from Japan under the Australia-Japan Young Political Leaders Exchange, met briefly with the recently sworn-in Prime Minister John Howard and spoke at length with Tim Fischer, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Trade, and Leader of the National Party. Others included Gary Gray, National Secretary of the Australian Labor Party, on the philosophy of and structure of the party; Peter Poggioli, State Director of the Liberal Party of Victoria, on campaign strategies; and Phil Honeywood, Minister for Tertiary Education and Training and Minister Assisting the Premier on Multicultural Affairs, on educational and societal concerns. Governmental reform, particularly in the areas of government spending, social welfare, and labor-management relations, was a continuing theme of the policy discussions and a subject which Japanese and Australians found to be of common concern.
Liberal Democratic Party
SEIICHI OTA, Delegation Leader; House of Representatives
SEIICHI ETO, House of Representatives
Social Democratic Party
KINUKO OFUCHI, House of Councillors
KANTOKU TERUYA, House of Councillors
New Party Sakigake
FUMIHIKO IGARASHI, House of Representatives
New Frontier Party
ISSEI KOGA, House of Representatives
ICHIRO KAMOSHITA, House of Representatives
YOSUKE MASUDA, House of Councillors