NEWS RELEASE: JUSFC-Foley Legislative Exchange Wraps Up Bilateral, Trilateral Talks

May 5, 2016 

WASHINGTON, D.C. The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation and the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission (JUSFC) this week welcomed the first delegation of legislators to visit Washington under the Japan-Rep. Joaquin Castro Foley Exchange DinnerU.S. Friendship Commission Thomas S. Foley Legislative Exchange — the Foley Exchange — a new public-private partnership intended to build lasting relationships among U.S., Japanese, and Korean elected officials.  The Foley Exchange was established in honor of the late Speaker of the House Thomas S. Foley, U.S. ambassador to Japan and an enthusiastic participant and supporter of exchanges between elected officials. This week the Foley Exchange brought seven members of Japan’s National Diet and four members of Korea’s National Assembly to Washington to meet with their counterparts in the

U.S. Congress as well as representatives from the executive branch, the policy community, and the private sector.   Participants included:

Japanese Diet Delegation

Mr. Jiro Aichi, Liberal Democratic Party, House of Councillors

Mr. Yukihisa Fujita, Democratic Party, House of Councillors

Ms. Hiroe Makiyama, Democratic Party, House of Councillors

Mr. Masaharu Nakagawa, Democratic Party, House of Representatives

Mr. Keitaro Ohno, Liberal Democratic Party, House of Representatives

Mr. Takashi Shinohara, Democratic Party, House of Representatives

Mr. Kozo Yamamoto, Liberal Democratic Party, House of Representatives


Korean National Assembly Delegation

Ms. Soon-ok Chun, Minjoo Party

Mr. Jin-ha Hwang, Saenuri Party

Ms. In-Sook Park, Saenuri Party

Mr. Yoon-Keun Woo, Minjoo Party

The first day of meetings on May 3 provided the visiting legislators with unique opportunities to learn about Washington policymaking and to join other Japanese and U.S. lawmakers at a reception co-sponsored by the Mansfield Foundation, Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission, CULCON, Congressional Study Group on Japan, Japan Center for International Exchange, Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA, and U.S.-Japan Council.  During the bilateral session on May 4th, the delegation met with policy experts and senior congressional staff for discussions on U.S. electoral and political affairs, Japan-U.S. issues before Congress, and priorities for key congressional committees.

A welcome dinner co-hosted by Japanese Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae and Korean Ambassador Ho Young Ahn 4 provided an outstanding opening for the next part of the exchange – the trilateral program.  Representative Joaquin Castro provided remarks at the dinner, which also was attended by Ambassador Sung Kim, Special Representative for North Korea and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Korea and Japan.  The U.S.-Japan-Korea Trilateral Dialogue began May 5 with an opportunity for the Japanese and Korean legislators to exchange views with current and former members of Congress and to hear from Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Heather Higginbottom as well as senior policy experts including Michael Green (Center for Strategic and International Studies) and Wendy Cutler (Asia Society Policy Institute).

In the spirit of Ambassador Thomas Foley, this week’s Foley Exchange brought together an exceptionally diverse group of leaders, encompassing representatives of the ruling and opposition parties in Korea’s National Assembly and Japan’s House of Representatives and House of Councillors as well as the Democratic and Republican parties in the U.S. House of Representatives,” said Mansfield Foundation President and CEO Frank Jannuzi.  “This talented group of emerging and experienced leaders came from different countries and viewpoints to address issues of common concern — including North Korea, regional security, and the challenges of global economic trends.  As importantly, they began building what we believe will be lasting relationships that will be invaluable for addressing the issues of the future.”

“Ambassador Foley and his generation of leaders understood that ongoing dialogue and regular exchanges between elected officials were critical to maintaining strong U.S. relations with countries like Japan and Korea,” said Paige Cottingham-Streater, Executive Director of the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission. “With the passing of Ambassador Foley’s generation, new leaders need to be engaged in building the personal relationships that facilitate cooperation between our countries. The Japan-U.S.-Friendship Commission is pleased to be partnering with the Mansfield Foundation on this vibrant new initiative, which we are confident will advance common interests between the United States and Japan in the years to come.”

The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization that promotes understanding and cooperation in U.S.-Asia relations.  The Foundation was established in 1983 to honor Mike Mansfield (1903-2001), a revered public servant, statesman and diplomat who played a pivotal role in many of the key domestic and international issues of the 20th century as U.S. congressman from Montana, Senate majority leader and finally as U.S. ambassador to Japan.  Maureen and Mike Mansfield’s values, ideals and vision for U.S.-Asia relations continue through the Foundation’s exchanges, dialogues, research and educational programs, which create networks among U.S. and Asian leaders, explore the underlying issues influencing public policies, and increase awareness about the nations and peoples of Asia.  The Foundation has offices in Washington, D.C.; Tokyo, Japan; and Missoula, Montana.

The Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission was established as an independent federal government agency by the United States Congress in 1975 (P.L. 94-118) to strengthen the U.S.-Japan relationship through educational, cultural, and intellectual exchange. The Commission is a grant making agency that supports research, education, public affairs and exchange with Japan. Its mission is to support reciprocal people-to-people understanding, and promote partnerships that advance common interests between Japan and the United States.