On October 18–31, 2003, the 22nd US Delegation of the US-Japan Young Political Leaders Exchange Program visited Tokyo, Kanagawa, Kyoto, Himeji, and Kita-Kyushu. As the participants arrived shortly before the November general elections in Japan, they had the opportunity to observe firsthand various aspects of Japan’s election system and political processes.
In Tokyo, the delegates received briefings from top party officials on their election strategies and learned about Japan’s foreign policy and various domestic issues through meetings with Ambassador Howard Baker, up-and-coming political leaders such as Councillor Yoshimasa Hayashi (Liberal Democratic Party), journalists, and business leaders. The participants also learned about Japan’s local government systems and decentralization efforts through meetings with local elected officials and city council members in Kanagawa, Kyoto, and Himeji. During their trip, they also had the opportunity to attend a campaign speech by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in Kita-Kyushu.
CLAUDIA ALVAREZ, Councilwoman, City of Santa Ana (Democrat)
MERIKA COLEMAN, Representative, State of Alabama (Democrat)
FERDINAND “TREY” FRANK FISCHER, Representative, State of Texas (Democrat)
STEPHANIE OLSEN, Representative, State of Minnesota (Republican)
DAN SCHOOFF, Representative, State of Wisconsin (Democrat)
GEOFFREY SMITH, Representative, State of Ohio (Republican)
PETER SU, Congressional Liaison, International Affairs, US Department of Treasury (Republican)
DOUG TURNER, President, DW Turner Public Relations (Republican)