Celebrating 50 years of partnership between JCIE and the American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL), JCIE hosted a group of five alumni of our joint US-Japan Young Political Leaders Exchange program for a week-long exchange trip to Japan. This trip was also the first in-person exchange under this program since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the Tokyo portion of the program, the delegation met with a wide range of officials, including members of Japan’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs, staff members of the US Embassy, three members of the National Diet representing different political parties, and Hon. Yuriko Koike, Governor of Tokyo, as well as journalists at Nikkei. Briefings in Tokyo covered issues such as the US-Japan relationship, trade and security, energy issues, childcare, and the challenges of depopulation and an aging society.
In Nagano, the delegation was hosted by Hon. Sayaka Kurashima, a member of the Chikuma City Council and an alumna of the 2022 ACYPL Online Exchange to the US. There, participants visited local businesses and Zenkoji Temple, one of the oldest temples in Japan, learned about the crafting of Japanese swords, and met with the vice governor of Nagano Prefecture and the mayors of Chikuma City and Sakaki Town. They also had the chance to interact with students at a local middle school, joining an English and a physical education class, which was covered by a local news agency.
ALLISON CUNNINGHAM, Senior Director, Governmental Affairs and Public Policy, American Gas Association (Republican, 2018 alum)
KELDA ROYS, Member, Wisconsin Senate (Democrat, 2009 alum)
MIKE FRERICHS, Treasurer, State of Illinois (Democrat, 2011 alum)
TAMI JACKSON BUCKNER, Partner, Michael Best Strategies LLC. (Democrat, 2005 alum)
RENEE SCHULTE, Owner, Schulte Consulting LLC. (Republican, 2010 alum)