2017 Japanese Women Leaders Delegation to the US

September 11–17, 2017
Washington DC, New York

In JCIE’s 40-year history of parliamentary exchanges, we have tried to include women whenever possible, but this year we had a delegation comprised entirely of women for the first time ever. Five impressive legislators and one senior journalist joined us for a weeklong program in Washington DC and New York.

During their visit, the group met with a wide range of American leaders and policy experts to discuss ways of strengthening US-Japan cooperation on the North Korean nuclear threat, trade, and the rule of law in East Asia. They also spoke with pioneering women leaders about how women have increasingly played a greater role in American politics and what tactics can be adapted to strengthen women’s political leadership in Japan. Also, they spoke with business executives and nonprofits about how to advance gender equity in the workforce. 

The visit culminated in a two-day retreat, the US-Japan Women Leaders Dialogue, held at the historic Pocantico Conference Center of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, located in Tarrytown, New York. Roughly 25 women leaders (and a few men) gathered to discuss issues of shared concern—from empowering women in politics and the workplace to finding ways to promote stability and prosperity in the Asia Pacific region at a time of heightened security concerns and economic nationalism.


Senior Commentator on International Affairs, NHK Broadcasting; Special Affairs Commentator, NHK World

House of Councillors; former Minister of State for Gender Equality (Liberal Democratic Party and Party for Japanese Kokoro)

Member, House of Councillors (Democratic Party)

Member, House of Councillors (Komeito)

Member, House of Councillors (Liberal Democratic Party)

Member, House of Councillors (Komeito)


Tadashi Yamamoto Memorial Seminar (September 12, 2017, Washington DC)

US-Japan Women Leaders Dialogue (September 15–17, 2017, Tarrytown NY)

Meetings included……

Strengthening US-Japan relations

SENATOR CORY GARDNER (R-CO), Senate Foreign Relations East Asia Subcommittee Chair & Chair of National Republican Senate Campaign Committee

Congressional women leaders—REPS. DIANA DeGETTE (D-CO), SUZANNE BONAMICI (D-OR), & SUSAN DAVIS (D-CA)

REP. LOIS FRANKEL (D-FL), Co-chair of the Congressional Women’s Caucus

Woodrow Wilson Center President JANE HARMAN & WWICS scholars

Roundtable on US-Asia relations with Brookings Institution experts (MIREYA SOLIS, RICHARD BUSH, JONATHAN POLLACK, JUNG PAK & JONATHAN STROMSETH)

9/11 Tribute Center – First-hand account of 9/11 response and 9/11 families’ work in Tohoku by former FDNY Lt. BRENDA BERKMAN & 9/11 Tribute Center Curator MERIAM LOBEL

Shared challenges in advancing women’s economic & political equity

Briefing by Emily’s List head EMILY CAIN on funding women candidates

Meeting with Estee Lauder Co-founder LEONARD LAUDER and Chairman WILLIAM LAUDER + briefing on corporate diversity initiatives

Discussion with fashion designer EILEEN FISHER and senior executives about the Eileen Fisher Leadership Initiative

Center for Global Development roundtable on gender approaches to development

Site visit to Brookdale Hospital (Brownsville, Brooklyn) maternal healthcare/Healthy Families outreach program

Briefing on programs to promote women’s corporate advancement at Catalyst

Japan Society/JCIE roundtable on corporate diversity initiatives with Citi, MetLife, KPMG & Mizuho

Briefing on women’s political engagement by DEBBIE WALSH, Director, Rutgers University’s Center for American Women and Politics

Future of US politics

ADO MACHIDA, former Director of Policy Implementation, Trump for America

Brookings Institution Senior Fellow BILL GALSTON on US domestic politics

Dinner roundtable with DC-based Japanese business leader & journalists