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US Congressional Staff Exchange Program

15th US Congressional Staff Exchange Program
August 22–29, 1999

The eight Congressional staffers participating in the 1999 program received briefings on a wide range of social, economic, and political issues, then met with prominent politicians and policymakers with expertise in these areas. Mizuho Fukushima, a member of the House of Councillors, spoke with the group about the changing role of women in Japanese politics and society, Takemi Nemoto, a member of the House of Representatives, discussed the challenges faced by Japan in its attempt to reform the social security system and better meet the demands of an aging society, and Akira Amari, the Minister of Labor, briefed the group on the nation's employment policies during the current economic downturn. The participants also met with several groups of Diet members, one of which included Naoto Kan and much of the rest of the top leadership of the Democratic Party of Japan, high-ranking officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), and US Ambassador Tom Foley.

Participants

Rebecca Benn Legislative Assistant to Sen. Thad Cochran
Chuck Brimmer Chief of Staff to Rep. Peter Visclosky
Margaret Cummisky Legislative Director to Sen. Daniel Inouye
David Flanders Legislative Director to Rep. Mike Thompson
Lisa Ford Executive Assistant to Rep. George Radanovich
Katherine Kless Assistant for Policy to Speaker Dennis Hastert
Janice McKinney Executive Assistant to Rep. David Dreier
Dan Twining Legislative Correspondent to Sen. John McCain