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Australia-Japan Young Political Leaders Exchange Program

The Nineteenth Delegation to Japan
February 27–March 5, 2010

The 19th Australian delegation to Japan, led by Senator Scott Ryan, visited Tokyo, Kyoto, and Nagoya on February 27–March 5, 2010. Much of the discussion during the weeklong visit focused on the changing political landscape in Japan following the historic election in August 2009, and the resulting implications for bilateral relations between the two countries. During the course of their visit, the six members of the delegation spoke with a wide range of key players and experts about foreign policy, politics, and economy in the two countries, especially in relation to the recent political shifts in Japan as well as the impact of the global financial crisis.

The delegation met with nine leading Diet members from both of Japan’s major political parties, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), including State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Tetsuro Fukuyama, and other senior government officials and experts. They also sat down with representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to discuss whaling and fishing policies as well as wider Asia Pacific relations, two issues of particular importance to the Australia-Japan relationship. Other topics discussed during their weeklong visit included East Asia community building, business in Japan from the Australian perspective, and the role of the media in Japanese politics.

The delegates finished their travels in Japan with a visit to historic Kyoto as well as a trip to Nagoya, where the delegates met with Governor of Aichi Prefecture Masaaki Kanda and discussed local Japanese politics with members of the Aichi Prefectural Assembly. Also in Nagoya, the delegates had a discussion with Chubu Electric Power Company executives on Japanese energy consumption and conservation and made a site visit to an innovative energy facility.

Participants List

Liberal Party of Australia

Scott Ryan Delegation Leader; Senator for Victoria
Jamie Briggs Federal Member for Mayo (South Australia)
Jarrod Bleijie State Member for Kawana, Parliament of Queensland

Labor Party

Nick Champion Federal Member for Wakefield (South Australia)
Penny Sharpe Parliamentary Secretary Assisting the Minister for Transport; Member for the Legislative Council of the Parliament of New South Wales
Colin Brooks State Member for Bundoora, Parliament of Victoria

The Australian Political Exchange Council:

Geoff Barnett Executive Officer