The 1998 ACYPL delegation to Japan began their two-week visit with briefings on Japanese politics, economics, security policy, and foreign policy from academics, political analysts, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials. Afterward, they sat down with officials with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government to discuss the fiscal and financial issues facing major urban centers. The group then met with labor union leaders and business leaders and visited the Diet to speak with young Diet members, who are becoming an increasingly influential force in Japanese politics. They also met with a number of senior Diet members, including Tsutomu Hata, former Prime Minister and Secretary-General of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), and Takako Doi, chair of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
After the first week, the delegation left Tokyo, heading west for Okayama where they got a taste of everyday Japanese life through a brief homestay program. They spent four days in Okayama, learning about the challenges facing Japan’s regional governments and holding meetings with officials from Okayama Prefecture, including Governor Masahiro Ishii. The program then concluded with short visits to Hiroshima and Kyoto.
JULIE DWYER, Administrative Assistant, Rep. Bob Ethridge
JOHN HILGERT, Senator, Nebraska State Senate
LINDSEY HUFF, Defense Fellow, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs, US Department of Defense
JOE KELLY, Director, State Government Affairs, Eli Lilly & Co.
TONY POWELL, Member, Kansas House of Representatives
SUSAN SELDIN, Western Political Director, Democratic National Committee
ANNE SMITH, Principal, The Policy Agency
RON THORNBURGH, Secretary of State, Kansas
KATHY TINGLESTAD, Member, Minnesota House of Representatives