The 1997 Diet group visited the United States from July 21–27 as part of the newly launched Joint Parliamentary Study and Dialogue Project on US-Japan Security Relations in Asia Pacific initiative. The nine-member delegation—the 21st Diet delegation to visit the United States under the US-Japan Parliamentary Exchange program—included representatives of five political parties and one independent, many of whom had expertise on security and foreign policy.
The Washington DC schedule included roundtable sessions on US-Japan and Asia Pacific issues with specialists, journalists, and Congressional staff. Diet members also met privately with several senators and administration officials. Discussions were substantive, especially regarding the newly proposed Guidelines for US-Japan Security Cooperation, the future direction of China, and related security concerns. The delegation attended a speech by First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and a press conference on microcredit initiatives, as well as a briefing on US Iranian and Middle Eastern policy by Bruce Reidel of the National Security Council. At a retreat in Lansdowne, Virginia, on July 25–26, several current and former members of Congress joined the Diet delegation, including Doug Bereuter (Republican of Nebraska), chair of the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, and Tom Petri (Republican of Wisconsin), co-chair of the Congressional Study Group on Japan. Discussions covered the security environment of Asia Pacific in the coming decade and US-Japan security relations.
House of Representatives
ICHIRO AISAWA, Liberal Democratic Party, Okayama
KOICHIRO GENBA, Democratic Party of Japan, Tohoku, Proportional Representation District
KENJI KOSAKA, Taiyo Party, Nagano
SEIJI MAEHARA, Democratic Party of Japan, Kyoto
SHINJI TARUTOKO, Independent, Osaka
KANESHIGE WAKAMATSU, New Frontier Party, Saitama
House of Councillors
YOSHIMASA HAYASHI, Liberal Democratic Party, Yamaguchi
KEIZO TAKEMI, Liberal Democratic Party, Proportional Representation District
KANTOKU TERUYA, Social Democratic Party, Okinawa