2024 US Congressional Staff Exchange

May 25–June 1, 2024
Tokyo and Kumamoto

A delegation of seven US Congressional Staff members traveled to Tokyo and Kumamoto from May 25 to June 1, 2024, for a series of meetings, roundtables, and briefings addressing issues impacting the US-Japan relationship and Japanese politics.  While in Tokyo, participants had the opportunity to meet with several Japanese legislators including Keizo Takemi, Minister for Health, Labour, and Welfare, and Ken Saito, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry. They met with academics and experts to discuss a diverse range of issues critical to the US-Japan relationship. They also visited the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) headquarters in Tsukuba to discuss US-Japan cooperation on space.

The group then traveled to Kumamoto, which has been rebuilding as a business and tech hub since the 2016 earthquake. Activities in Kumamoto included meetings with Governor Takashi Kimura, local politicians, and students from Kumamoto University, and of course meeting Kumamoto’s mascot Kumamon.

Participants

JACQULINE ANDERSON, Legislative Assistant, Office of Rep. Robert E. Latta (R-OH)      

JONATHAN CARTER, Legislative Assistant, Office of Rep. Maxwell Frost (D-FL)

ADRIENNE CASTRO, Legislative Director, Office of Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA)

KELSEY CHIN, Legislative Assistant/Correspondent, Office of Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY)          

LIAM MCDONOUGH, Legislative Assistant, Office of Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ)

ALEXANDRIA SMITH, Legislative Director, Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL)  

MICHELLE VANEK, Counsel, Office of the Legislative Counsel, U.S. House of Representatives