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In June, ACYPL was pleased to welcome a seven-member delegation from Japan comprised of party officials and a policy advisor for a member of the Japanese House of Representatives. The group began their visit in Washington, D.C. before traveling to Oklahoma and Colorado. The exchange was carried out in collaboration with our long-standing partner, the Japan Center for International Exchange.
In Washington, we focused on the interests of the group, one of which was the relationship between lobbyists and the public and private sectors. We met with several government relations directors representing US business interests, all of whom have traveled to Japan as an ACYPL delegate in the past. The group also had a deep interest in current trade issues between Japan and the United States, which they had the chance to speak about in depth at the US Department of State. Our meeting with Valerie Dowling, Director of the Women’s Democracy Network of the International Republican Institute was also particularly engaging, as legislation was recently passed in Japan to promote women’s participation in politics and the delegates were interested in American efforts to do the same.
In Oklahoma, the delegation toured the Capitol and met with Secretary of State James Williamson. Secretary Williamson was eager to hear the delegates’ expectations and impressions of Oklahoma and answer their questions. Our focus then turned to civic activities. We toured the new Ground Zero Training Center in Tuttle, OK, which trains search and rescue dogs to scale dangerous rubble and search within environments that mimic tornado destruction. We also visited the Great Plains Technology Center in Lawton, OK. Here, the delegates had an in-depth look at vocational education. Specifically, they took interest in the Center’s program for high school dropouts and the work placement opportunities the Center has built and sustained for decades.
The El Pomar Foundation then hosted the delegation in Colorado for four days. With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics approaching, the timing was perfect for visiting the US Olympic Training Center and speaking with Mr. William J. Hybl about his time as President of the US Olympic Committee. We also met with the El Paso County Commissioner, Colorado springs City Council President, and the Pikes Peak Regional Director for US Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO).
We were also fortunate to fit cultural activities alongside our schedule of meetings. We toured the the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum, attended the Jazz in June outdoor festival in Norman, Oklahoma, and spent a morning walking around Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado.