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Australia-Japan Young Political Leaders Exchange Program

The Sixteenth Delegation to Japan
March 24-30, 2007

Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hakubun
Shimomura and the 2007 Australian Delegation.

The 16th Australian Delegation, led by MP Anna Burke, Federal Member for Chisholm, visited Tokyo, Nagoya, and Kyoto on March 24-30, 2007. In a year that marked the 50th anniversary of the Australia-Japan agreement, the delegation sought to deepen their understanding of Japanese politics, economics and foreign policy as well as to compare and share thoughts on bilateral relations between the two nations. The six-person delegation met with leaders from business and civil society, as well as the senior leadership of the three major parties. This included Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hakubun Shimomura, and 12 other members of the Japanese Diet. Taking part in meetings throughout the week the delegates exchanged views on the various aspects of free trade agreements and East Asia community building, the first round of Japan’s springtime elections, as well as topics covering education reform, ageing populations and social security. The delegation also met with other senior government officials and experts, including with representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and leading think tank experts. They rounded out their weeklong exchange in Japan with a visit to a Toyota automobile plant as well as historic Kyoto.

Participants List

The Australian Labor Party:

Anna Burke MP (Delegation Leader) Federal Member of Chisholm
Linda Kirk Senator for South Australia
Jack Snelling MHA Speaker of the House of Assembly, State Member for Playford in the South Australian House of Assembly

Liberal Party of Australia:

Will Hodgman MHA Leader of the Opposition, State Member for Franklin in the Tasmanian House of Assembly
Sean Costello Senior Advisor, Office of the Hon. Dr. Brendan Nelson MP, Federal Minister of Defence
Andrew Elsbury Researcher, Office of Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, Senator for Victoria

The Australian Political Exchange Council:

Pandora Livanes Executive Officer