US Congressional Staff Exchange
As a complement to the ongoing US-Japan Parliamentary Exchange Program, JCIE established the US Congressional Staff Exchange Program in 1982 in recognition of the vital role Congressional staff members play in policymaking. The one-week study program provides senior Congressional staffers with the opportunity to meet Japanese legislators and policymakers and thus give them a sense of the Japanese policymaking process as well as political, economic, and societal trends. Participants also take part in briefings and roundtables with leading experts on bilateral, regional, and global issues, particularly those related to security and trade.
The program is designed to provide these influential staff members with a deeper appreciation of the US-Japan relationship and a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges for US government leaders, businesses, and other key decision makers in their interactions with Japan. By doing so, it helps enhance the quality of policy advice provided to US legislators. It is the longest-running congressional staff exchange with Japan and is operated on an application basis.
To maintain learning and dialogue during the COVID-19 pandemic, JCIE has launched a new “Japan 101” online course for Congressional staff, with the first session taking place in September 2020 and the second in March 2021. In October 2022, JCIE was able to take a group of eight Congressional staff to Japan to resume in-person exchanges in both Tokyo and Okinawa.