The 1998 activities of the Joint Parliamentary Study and Dialogue Project on US-Japan Security Relations in Asia Pacific began with a Congressional delegation visit to Japan from January 18–23. A majority of the group were first-time visitors to Japan and first-time participants in US-Japan parliamentary exchange. It was the 23rd delegation of Congress members to Japan under JCIE’s US-Japan Parliamentary Exchange program.
The visit took place amid the Asian financial crisis and the agenda accordingly examined US-Japan security relations in the broader context of alliance management. In Tokyo, the delegation participated in a series of sessions with Kiichi Miyazawa, former prime minister and chair of the Special Task Force on the Stabilization of the Financial System, Shoichiro Toyoda, chair of the Keidanren (Japan Federation of Economic Organizations), and over 15 high-level Diet members, including opposition leaders. US delegation members had the opportunity to present their views as panelists before an audience of Japanese leaders at a symposium on “Current Socio-Political Dynamics in the United States.” They also attended a dinner hosted by Minister for Foreign Affairs, Keizo Obuchi, who became prime minister later in the year.
The delegation then retreated to an island in Shizuoka for a session with several Diet members, which US Ambassador to Japan Thomas Foley also attended. Discussions touched on the Asian financial crisis, the implications of political changes on bilateral relations, and the security environment in Asia Pacific.
House of Representatives
TOM CAMPBELL, Republican, California
MICHAEL ‘MAC’COLLINS, Republican, Georgia
PETER DeFAZIO, Democrat, Oregon
BOB FILNER, Democrat, California
JIM McDERMOTT, Democrat, Washington
DAVID SKAGGS, Democrat, Colorado
LYNN WOOLSEY, Democrat, California
WILLIAM ROTH, Republican, Delaware
PAUL SARBANES, Democrat, Maryland