A suprapartisan delegation of eight Diet members traveled to Sydney, Canberra, and Brisbane during the week of March 28–April 5, 1998, as part of the Australia-Japan Young Political Exchange program. During their visit, the group met with such prominent Australian leaders as Alexander Downer, minister for foreign affairs, and Margaret Reid, president of the Senate, and held discussions with executives of the Liberal Party, Labor Party, and Democratic Party. In addition to meeting with a wide range of political and intellectual leaders, the delegation also had an opportunity to observe a question time in the Australian Senate, visit the Australia War Memorial Museum, and view the main stadium that was under construction for the Olympic Games held in Sydney in 2000.
The visit allowed the participants to deepen their understanding of Australia’s politics, economy, and society. They were able to compare the political and financial systems in the two countries, learn about the election system and campaign financing in Australia, and share their thoughts on issues of mutual concern to the governments and societies of both Japan and Australia, such as health care and social welfare policies concerning the elderly.
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)
SHIGERU ISHIBA, Delegation Leader, House of Representatives
HIROHISA KURIHARA, House of Representatives
YOSHIO MOCHIZUKI, House of Representatives
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ)/Minyuren
YUKIO UBUKATA, House of Representatives
New Party Amity/Minyuren
SATOSHI SHIMA, House of Representatives
Social Democratic Party
TOMOKO NAKAGAWA, House of Representatives
KAZUO ISHIGAKI, House of Representatives
New Party Peace
YOSHIO URUSHIBARA, House of Representatives