As part of the 2014 exchange program, a delegation of six state and local-level US political leaders visited Tokyo, Ibaraki Prefecture, and Okayama Prefecture, and Kyoto Prefecture for a series of meetings and roundtables with national policymakers, business leaders, and prefectural and local-level officials. During the course of their two-week visit, the delegation met with six Diet members from both major parties and over thirteen prefectural and city assembly members. This included the former Minister of Defense Yasukazu Hamada, as well as former Minister of Foreign Affairs and current LDP party vice-president Masahiko Koumura.
While in Tokyo, the delegation was briefed by Diet members, ministry officials, business leaders, and academia on a host of issues ranging from women’s issues in Japan to demographic change and its impact on Japanese society. Outside of Tokyo, their schedule included meetings with Ibaraki and Okayama prefectural assembly chairmen, a meeting with the governor of Okayama prefecture Ryuta Ibaragi, site visits to local industry hubs, and discussions with local media outlets.
DAWN HUCKLEBRIDGE, Policy & Programs Director, Young Elected Officials Network, People for the American Way Foundation (Democrat)
STEPHEN NEUMAN, Director of Public Affairs, Office of Governor Martin O’Malley (Democrat)
MATT O’MALLEY, Member, Boston City Council (Democrat)
ALBERT RIBIERO, Senior Director & Oncology Global Public Affairs Lead, Pfizer, Inc. (Republican)
MARIA RODRIGUEZ-GREGG, Member, New Jersey State Assembly (Republican)
ERICA SECHRIST, Director, Government Affairs, Advance America (Republican)
BRYAN PEDERSEN, Delegation Escort; Senior Vice President, Financial Advisor, RBC Wealth Management (Republican)