From July 26 to August 6, six Japanese local legislators and Diet staffers visited Washington DC, North Carolina, and the State of Washington as part of the 26th Japanese delegation of the US-Japan Young Political Leaders Exchange Program, which is co-sponsored by JCIE and the American Council for Young Political Leaders (ACYPL). The delegation met with the Hon. David Price (Representative, NC), the Democratic National Committee, and had meetings with the US State Department, the Japanese Embassy, and business leaders while in Washington DC.
They then traveled to Raleigh and Durham, North Carolina, where they met with Justice Paul Newby of the NC State Supreme Court, members of the NC Legislature and the Raleigh City Council, members of the NC Industrial Commission, local businesspeople and journalists, and representatives of the Duke University Health System. The delegation was briefed on such issues as local and state governance, the US healthcare system and the Affordable Care Act, trade policy and the TPP, North Carolina politics, politics and the media, and cyber-security.
Concluding the trip in Washington State, the delegation was welcomed by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, and briefed by Susan Hutchison (WA Republican Party Chairman), Jaxon Ravens (WA Democratic Party Chairman), and University of Washington officials on the differences between Japanese and US political systems and on North Carolina and Washington politics. The recent passing of legislation increasing the minimum wage in Seattle to $15 was an especially hot topic at the meetings and led to several lively discussions.
Throughout the entire visit, the delegation also engaged in cultural activities, such as taking in a baseball game between the Durham Bulls and the Gwinnett Braves.
MARI IKEDA, Member, Saitama City Council
YUKIKO MORITA, Assistant General Manager, Public Relations Committee, DPJ Headquarters
KOHSEI NAGAYA, Member, Gifu Prefectural Assembly
EIICHI NAKAYAMA, Vice Director, Komei Press Kyushu Branch
KOHEI OJIMA, Member, Nerima Ward Assembly
SHINJI SENUMA, Staff, Women’s Affairs Division, LDP Headquarters