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US Congressional Staff Exchange Program

13th US Congressional Staff Exchange Program
March 30–April 6, 1997

The thirteenth US Congressional staff delegation comprising nine members visited Japan on March 30-April 6, 1997, at a time when foreign policy experts were troubled by developments in Asia Pacific. Accordingly, the US-Japan security relationship and the challenges posed by a Japanese economy in recession were priorities on the program agenda. Speakers to the delegation included Masashi Nishihara, an international relations expert with the National Defense Academy; Ira Wolf, an executive with Eastman Kodak, Asia-Pacific Ltd., and former assistant US trade representative; Glen Fukushima, an executive with AT&T Japan; Koichi Kato, secretary general of the Liberal Democratic Party; and senior members of three opposition parties. The delegation also met executives of major Japanese corporations, gaining a sense of the difference in opinions between the corporate and government sectors on fiscal reform. Business leaders expressed particular interest in the delegation's views on the state of American politics; and a panel discussion at the Keidanren (Japan Federation of Economic Organizations) featuring the Congressional staff delegation attracted nearly fifty executives.

Participants

Dan BobSpecial Assistant for Asian and Pacific Affairs to Senator William Roth (Republican of Delaware), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee
Amy DunathanLegislative Assistant for International Trade to Senator John Chafee (Republican of Rhode Island), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee
Michael ErlandsonChief of Staff to Representative Martin Sabo (Democrat of Minnesota)
Bob FoustLegislative Director and Foreign Policy Adviser to Senator Kent Conrad (Democrat of North Dakota)
Betsy HarkinsLegislative Assistant to Senator Thad Cochran (Republican of Mississippi)
Marsha McCravenAdministrative Assistant to Representative Bennie Thompson (Republican of Mississippi)
Terri SmithLegislative Assistant to Senator Robert Byrd (Democrat of West Virginia)
Associate Staff, Senate Appropriations Committee
Bob Van WicklinLegislative Assistant to Representative Amo Houghton (Republican of New York)
John WoodardChief of Staff to Representative Brian Bilbray (Republican of California)