Six Japanese Diet staff members and party staff members visited Washington DC, Maryland, and Hawaii on February 20–March 5, 2010, as part of the 22nd Japanese delegation of the US-Japan Young Political Leaders Exchange Program. In Washington DC, the delegation met with US State Department officials, campaign finance officials, and lobbying firms in order to discuss specific issues such as the current US political climate, green technology and jobs, and US campaign financing. While in DC, they also visited the US House of Representatives, where they toured the Capitol Building and paid a visit to US Representative Frank Kratovil (MD). During the visit, the delegation had the opportunity to meet with some alumni of previous US Young Political Leaders Exchange delegations to Japan, including Earl Adams Jr. (2009), Ron Thomas (2008), Joseph Bartlett (2007), and Melony Griffith (1999).
In Maryland, the delegates were hosted by Maryland State Representative John Cardin. They explored the US state-level political system and political parties through meetings with Maryland state officials, including Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. In Hawaii, the participants visited the state legislator, the University of Hawaii, and the US Pacific Command. They were hosted in Honolulu by State Representative K. Mark Takai and met with a wide range of local leaders, including Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle and Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann. They also visited the East-West Center, where they discussed the role of higher education in US-Japan relations and issues related to declining birthrates, and paid a visit to the Pearl Harbor Historic Site.
NOBUKI KOMATSU, Reporter, Political News Division, Komei Shimbun (New Komeito Party)
MASAAKI KURANO, Legislative Assistant to Mr. Goshi Hosono, Member of the House of Representatives and Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ)
TOMOHIRO MINAGAWA, Assistant to Mr. Koichi Kato, Member of the House of Representatives, former Chief Cabinet Secretary and former Secretary-General of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)
FUYO NAKAMURA, Member of the Staff, Public Relations Committee, DPJ Party Headquarters
REIKA YANAGIMOTO, Member of the Staff, Treasury Bureau, LDP Party Headquarters
YASUHARU ZENKI, Assistant to Mr. Motohisa Furukawa, Member of the House of Representatives and Senior Vice-Minister of Cabinet Office (DPJ)