The delegation was led by National Councilor Elisabeth Schneider-Schneiter, president of the Friendship Group, which was created in 2014, amid the celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Switzerland and Japan. It was the group’s first visit to Japan.
During their stay, the eight National Councilors who made up the delegation, along with the group’s secretary, paid a courtesy visit to the Hon. Tadamori Oshima, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and met with their counterparts from the Japan-Swiss Parliamentary Friendship League of the Japanese Diet, led by the Hon. Seishiro Eto. The delegation had well over dozen other meetings and visits of a political, economic and cultural nature, including contacts with the Swiss business community in Japan and visits to Swiss companies in Chiba, Ibaraki and Osaka. They participated in a luncheon event of the Swiss Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan SCCIJ, together with former trade minister Akira Amari. In meetings with the Japanese business federations Keidanren and Keizai Doyukai, the Swiss members of Parliament exchanged views on the challenges to the global free trade agenda. Other high-level contacts included vice-president of the Liberal Democratic Party Masahiko Komura, as well as a State Minister of Foreign Affairs Nobuo Kishi and Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Toshinao Nakagawa. Finally, the delegation also travelled to Nara, where they participated in a dinner hosted by Governor Shogo Arai.