2006 Australian Young Political Leaders Delegation to Japan

February 18–24, 2006
Tokyo, Nagoya, and Kyoto
During their weeklong visit to Japan, seven members of the 15th Australian delegation of the Australia-Japan Young Political Leaders Exchange met with a wide range of national and local leaders to discuss Australia-Japan relations, emerging trends in Japanese politics, regional economic ties, and national security issues. In Tokyo, they spoke with more than a dozen Diet members, including the leadership of all three major political parties. As the Liberal Democratic Party was preparing for the leadership contest to succeed Prime Minister Koizumi, the party’s acting secretary general, Ichiro Aisawa, explained the party’s agenda and long-term vision. Meanwhile, a four-member delegation of Diet members from the Democratic Party of Japan and a three-member group from the New Komeito Party outlined their contrasting positions on domestic and foreign policy. Regional integration and the evolving regional architecture were key topics in discussions with foreign ministry officials and think tank experts, and the delegation shared views on Australia-Japan cooperation in regional relations in a meeting with Yasuhisa Shiozaki, senior vice minister for foreign affairs. Also, a group of Diet members and other prominent leaders with ties to Australia, led by Minister of Education Kenji Kosaka, gathered for a reception to welcome the delegation to Japan. In order to learn about political and economic dynamics outside of the capitol, the delegation traveled to Nagoya, one of Japan’s main industrial centers, where they met with local politicians and city officials.  This visit included a briefing on municipal environmental initiatives, as well as a visit to a local junior high school. The trip ended with a one-day visit to Kyoto, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to visit historic sites and receive briefings on traditional Japanese culture.


Liberal Party

MICHAEL KEENAN MP, Federal Member of the House of Representatives for Stirling

HELEN KROGER, Federal Vice President and State President (Victorian Division)


FIONA SIMPSON MLA, Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly for Maroochydore

Australian Labor Party

MATT BROWN MLA, New South Wales Parliamentary Secretary Assisting the Minister for Roads and Minister for Transport; Member for the New South Wales Legislative Assembly for Kiama

TONY ROBINSON MLA, Member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly for Mitcham

CARMEL TEBBUTT MLA, New South Wales State Minister for Education and Training; Member, New South Wales Legislative Assembly for Marrickville

Australian Political Exchange Council

PANDORA LIVANES, Executive Officer