Legislative Networking Initiative


Congresswoman Doris Matsui Greets Guests During the Opening Reception of the 2011 Annual Conference

OVERVIEW

The U.S.-Japan Council Legislative Networking Initiative seeks to:

- Facilitate conversation and exchange between elected officials in the U.S. and Japan at the state, local and national levels.
  
- Connect Japanese Americans and elected officials for dialogue and exchange.

- Provide elected officials with educational opportunities and resources about critical issues in U.S.-Japan relations.

- Build a network of individuals committed to strengthening U.S.-Japan relations.

The U.S.-Japan Council Legislative Networking Initiative is bi-partisan and does not participate or encourage any lobbying activity.

BACKGROUND

The Legislative Networking Initiative was initially established to promote relationship-building between U.S. Members of Congress and Japanese Parliamentarians to ensure long-term interest and support for strong U.S.-Japan relations.  A second objective was to expand and deepen relations between Japanese American leaders and members of Congress and the Diet.  These goals have now been expanded to include state and local elected officials. The Council organizes national and regional networking events that provide opportunities for elected officials to interact with their Japanese American constituents.

ACTIVITIES

Facilitation

The Council collaborates with other organizations including the Embassy of Japan, Japan-US Friendship Commission, Congressional Study Group on Japan of the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress (FMC), U.S.-Japan Research Institute, Georgetown University, and Meridian International Center among others to play a facilitating role in legislative exchange programming in Washington, DC.  The Council arranges meetings for visiting Diet Members and their U.S. counterparts, organizes round table discussions and hosts networking receptions.  For example, on March 28, 2012 the Council, together with the FMC Congressional Study Group on Japan, hosted a small reception for Congressional Members and Staff on Capitol Hill, “One and One Hundred Years: Two Anniversaries of the U.S.-Japanese Friendship.” The reception was held in conjunction with the centennial celebration of the gift of the cherry trees.

Coordination

The Council, together with CULCON (U.S.-Japan Conference on Cultural and Educational Interchange) works to coordinate the legislative exchange efforts in Washington through Legislative Exchange Summits. These summits catalyze coordination and collaboration amongst groups that organize legislative exchange to or from Japan. The sharing of information and resources has greatly enhanced legislative exchange programming and U.S.-Japan-related educational opportunities on Capitol Hill. Two summits have taken place to date, January 2012 and June 2012.

Programs

Tokyo American Center Diet Exchange – In 2011, the U.S.-Japan Council administered a small legislative exchange for up-and-coming Diet Members together with the Tokyo American Center.  Four Diet Members from varying political parties visited Washington, DC where they met with their U.S. counterparts including young and long-serving congressmen, leaders in major U.S. agencies, the business and non-profit sectors and Japanese Americans. The program was generously funded by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

UPCOMING EVENTS

In collaboration with the Japan Center for International Exchange and supporting organizations in the Washington, DC area, USJC is hosting a Capitol Hill Reception on Wednesday, May 1st at 5:30 pm. The reception will welcome legislators from the Japanese National Diet as guests of honor who are visiting Washington, DC during Japan’s Golden Week of national holidays, as well as leaders from Japan’s civil society sector who will be in Washington, DC as part of the TOMODACHI NGO Leadership Program. The reception will offer the guests of honor the opportunity to engage a diverse group of DC area legislators, foreign policy experts, and established and emerging leaders committed to the U.S.-Japan bilateral relationship.

SUPPORT

The U.S.-Japan Council Legislative Networking Initiative is generously supported by the Terasaki Family Foundation.

RELATED LINKS

SUMMER RECEPTION HOSTED BY IRENE HIRANO INOUYE AND SENATOR DANIEL K. INOUYE - JULY 2012

SECOND LEGISLATIVE EXCHANGE SUMMIT - JUNE 2012

2012 NEW YEARS NETWORKING AND WELCOMING RECEPTION - JANUARY 2012

INTERNATIONAL TRADE RECEPTION - APEC 2011 - NOVEMBER 2011

DIET MEMBER EXCHANGE - MAY 2011

A RECEPTION AT THE U.S. CAPITOL BUILDING, HOSTED BY SENATOR INOUYE - JULY 2010

PHOTOS

Click here for photos from a January, 2012 Diet Member reception.

Click here for photos from the 2011 TAC Diet Exchange.

Click here for photos from the International Trade Reception co-hosted by the U.S.-Japan Council and the APEC 2011 Hawai’i Host Committee.

Click here for photos from the Opening Reception on Capitol Hill in October, 2011

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