Asian American State Legislators to Travel to Japan to Build Relations with Leaders (2017)

WASHINGTON, DC – Six Asian American state legislators will travel to Japan as part of the 2017 Asian American Leadership Delegation (AALD) Program. The program will consist of a one-week trip from September 29 to October 7, when the Delegation will travel to Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka to meet with Japanese political and government leaders, business executives, nonprofit leaders and academics to exchange ideas as well as create networks that can mutually benefit the U.S.-Japan relationship. AALD is funded by the Sasakawa Peace Foundation and implemented by the U.S.-Japan Council (USJC), in collaboration with the National Asian Pacific American Caucus of State Legislators.

The AALD Program began in 2014, and 17 delegates have participated to date. The 2017 Delegation includes the following six Delegates. For four of them, it will be their first trip to Japan.

  • Assemblymember Rob Bonta, California State Assembly
  • State Representative Aaron Shiroma Ling Johanson, Hawaii State Legislature
  • Delegate Clarence K. Lam, Maryland General Assembly
  • Representative Rady Mom, Massachusetts State Legislature
  • State Senator Brian E. Shiozawa, Utah State Senate
  • State Representative Monica Jurado Stonier, Washington State Legislature

As part of the program, the delegates will speak at a panel discussion titled “Diversity in Leadership: The Journey of Asian American State Legislators.” Many of the delegates have followed non-traditional paths, choosing to become a politician after pursuing different careers. The audience will have the opportunity to learn about their personal choices, as well as the important role Asian American politicians play in their political arenas, especially in light of current events. The speakers will also reflect upon their week-long experience in Japan. Renowned journalist Aiko Doden, NHK Senior Commentator / NHK World Special Affairs Commentator, will moderate the discussion. Irene Hirano Inouye, USJC President, and Irene Kawanabe, Director of the National Asian Pacific American Caucus of State Legislators, will also join the symposium. This event will be held on Thursday, October 5 at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation in Tokyo, from 16:00 to 17:30. To learn more about the panel discussion or to register, please visit: (members of the media are requested to register here).

To learn more about media opportunities, please contact USJC Director of Communications Shiori Okazaki at or 202-223-6843. For more information about the program and to read the biographies of all six delegates, see: For more information on USJC, see: