TOKYO, JAPAN – Today, on the third day of a week-long Senate Delegation trip to Japan, Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) traveled with seven other California state senators to the National Diet of Japan, the nation’s bicameral legislature, where they met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The two leaders focused their discussion on ways California and Japan could collaborate on trans-pacific trade, clean energy, and dealing with the effects of climate change and air pollution. Senator de León also assured the Japanese Prime Minister that while the United States has pulled out of the historic Paris Accord, California will continue to take the lead on effective climate change policy.
Their meeting comes at a time where California’s government leaders are working hard to form working relationships with other national and subnational governments to address the global threat of climate change.
Japan, California’s neighbor on the Pacific Rim, is an economic and cultural counterpart to the golden state. California is the top exporting state to Japan, accounting for more than 18% of total United States exports. Likewise, Japan has remained California’s fourth largest export market since 2010 – after Mexico, Canada, and China. California also has the largest Japanese American population in the nation, at nearly half a million, and is home to more than 100,000 Japanese Citizens.
This is the 17th California Senate delegation to Japan. Senate Leader de León, traveling with six additional Senators, will continue engaging with government leaders throughout the week to hone in on sharing information related to the success and challenges both groups have had in three unique policy areas: constructing and implementing a High Speed Rail system, renewable energy and climate change, and Japan’s universal health insurance system.
Tomorrow, Senator de León will travel to Chiyoda City in Tokyo, to address the Japanese Press Corps at the Japan National Press Club.