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US-Japan Parliamentary Exchange Program

Congressional Visit to Japan
December 14-20, 2003

Representative Brian Baird (D-WA), traveled to Tokyo, Nagoya, and Kyoto on December 14–20, 2003, on a special visit arranged by JCIE as part of the US-Japan Parliamentary Exchange Program. In Tokyo, he met with nearly a dozen Diet members from the ruling and opposition parties, including former Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Secretary General Koichi Kato, Shoichi Kondo (Democratic Party of Japan), Kenji Kosaka (LDP), and Otohiko Endo (New Komeito). Representative Baird also held discussions with a variety of government, business, and nonprofit leaders on agriculture, information technology, the environment, and the role of the United States and Japan in the reconstruction of Iraq. On December 15, he was the featured speaker in a public symposium titled, “A New Pattern of Congressional Debate: Cases of Energy and Environmental Bills,” which focused on the growing challenges of legislating in the increasingly polarized US political system and extended to discussions on the future of US-Japan relations and cooperation.