A delegation from Japan has been visiting Midwestern cities this week as part of a goodwill tour. The group - comprised of more than a dozen officials, executives and other Japanese citizens - made a stop at the KPR studios in Lawrence this (FRI) morning. The goodwill delegation is led by Ken Shimanouchi (shih-muh-NOE-chee), a former ambassador to Spain and Brazil.
("It's about upgrading people-to-people contacts between Japan and the United States. We have good relations right now at the governmental level, but in recent years, we have had fewer contacts at the people-to-people level.")
The delegation also visited Chicago, Kansas City and St. Louis. The city of Lawrence already has a sister city relationship with Hiratsuka (hih-RAHT-ska), Japan - and the delegation says it wants to encourage more travel between the two countries through similar exchange programs.
(You'll find more about the Japanese delegation on the KPR website.)
Here's a lightly-edited (raw) interview with some members of the Japanese delegation, including the group's leader, Ken Shimanouchi, former Japanese ambassador to Spain and Brazil.