The Sasakawa Peace Foundation and the U.S.-Japan Council hosted a panel discussion with six distinguished Asian American state legislators from diverse backgrounds who participated in the 2017 Asian American Leadership Delegation (AALD) program. The AALD program is funded by the Sasakawa Peace Foundation and implemented by the U.S.-Japan Council, with support from the National Asian Pacific American Caucus of State Legislators.
The AALD program gives selected state-elected Asian American officials the opportunity to visit Japan for one week to meet and exchange ideas with Japanese political, governmental, business and community leaders at both the national and local levels. It aims to enhance mutual understanding and network building between Japan and the United States.
During the panel discussion, which was moderated by renowned journalist Aiko Doden, delegates talked about their respective political and personal journeys in the United States. Many of the 2017 delegates have followed non-traditional paths, choosing to become a politician after pursuing different careers. The audience had 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 also reflected upon their week-long experience in Japan.