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US-Japan Young Political Leaders 15th Japanese Delegation to the United States (2000)

Washington, D.C./Harrisburg/Philadelphia/Salt Lake City
July 15–28, 2000

The 2000 delegation arrived in Washington, DC, on July 15, 2000, where they received briefings on the structure of the US federal government, US-Japan relations, and US foreign policy from academics, administration officials, and State Department officials. Party activists from both the Democratic and Republican parties met with group members to explain the roles of the two political parties in American politics. Then, the delegation learned about the US educational system, first traveling to a local high school and later visiting the Department of Education to speak with education policymakers.

On Wednesday, July 19, the delegation headed north to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, for two days of meetings with local politicians and briefings from officials on Pennsylvania's agricultural sector, the state's experience with electricity deregulation, and the collection and processing of state taxes. After two days, the group left the state's capital to visit its largest city, Philadelphia, where they learned about Pennsylvania's criminal justice system through site visits and briefings at a county courthouse, the county parole and probation department, and a prison.

On Sunday, July 23, the delegation members moved on to Salt Lake City, Utah, in time for Pioneer Day, a day-long celebration of local history culminating in a rodeo. After participating in the festivities, they met with Governor Michael O. Leavitt, state legislators, Salt Lake City Mayor Ross Anderson, and various Salt Lake city council members to discuss the particular challenges facing their level of local government in the US system. The group later visited and spoke with representatives of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Salt Lake Olympic Organizing Committee, local environmentalists, and the management of one of the region's most important mining operations.

Participants List

Keiko Hirata Assistant to Shigefumi Matsuzawa, Member of the House of Representatives, Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ)
Keisuke Kishi Staff Member, Policy Research Committee, Liberal Party
Kazuhiro Masuo Professional Staff Member, Planning Department and Policy Research Committee, Democratic Party of Japan
Miki Morita Assistant to Sumiko Shimizu, Member of the House of Councillors, Social Democratic Party
Hiroyuki TakanabeSenior Staff Member, Policy Board, New Komeito
Taizo Toyoda Professional Staff Member, Treasury Bureau, Liberal Democratic Party
Tetsuhiro Yamaguchi Policy Staff, Policy Research Committee, Yamasaki Faction, Liberal Democratic Party; Assistant to Takashi Kosugi, former member of the House of Representatives
Taisei Yoshida Member, Kanagawa Prefectural Assembly, DPJ