Indiana’s Trade Mission Trip to Japan – Part One

September 12, 2017 by Elizabeth Bechdol, Director of Agribusiness Strategies
Indiana’s Trade Mission Trip to Japan – Part One

Ice Miller Director of Agribusiness Strategies Beth Bechdol joined Governor Eric Holcomb as part of a state delegation to Japan. In a series of blog posts, Beth shares her experiences as part of the trade mission trip.
Governor Holcomb well appreciates the significance of the Indiana-Japan business and cultural relationship. He pulled together a delegation of more than 40 Indiana business, economic development, university and civic leaders to accompany him to Japan for his first trade mission to the country. 
The delegation landed in Tokyo on Friday, Sept. 8, 2017. After acclimating to the 13-hour time difference, we made our way on Saturday via bullet train to Tochigi Prefecture, Indiana's sister-state in Japan. Tochigi, like Indiana, is home to well-known automotive, medical/pharmaceutical and food and beverage companies. Governor Tomikazu Fukuda greeted the Indiana team warmly and introduced us to many of his own prefecture's business leaders. But, along with the hospitality came a little friendly competition and "basketball diplomacy" as the two governors engaged in a free-throw shooting contest. Let's just say Governor Holcomb will have to come back to Japan and ask for a rematch!
On Sunday, the 49th Annual Joint Meeting of the Midwest U.S.-Japan Association got underway and brought together other delegations from Nebraska, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin. The relationships many of these other Midwestern states have with Japan are just as meaningful as Indiana’s—although Indiana does have the largest amount of Japanese investment per capita across all U.S. states. Governor Holcomb joined four other Midwestern governors to headline the Summit's opening session. He clearly articulated to the audience of Japanese business leaders why Indiana "treasures" our relationship with their country and why Japan is Indiana's "best" economic partner.
  • Over 280 Japanese companies operate in Indiana, employing nearly 60,000 Hoosiers.
  • Since 2013, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation has secured new projects from Japanese companies (including Subaru, Toyota, Honda, NTK and Aisin) worth over $3 billion. These projects have created more than 7,600 jobs.
  • Indiana companies like Cummins, Eli Lilly, Zimmer Biomet and others also have operations in Japan.
"Your investments not only create jobs but add vibrancy to our communities," shared Governor Holcomb.

It is abundantly clear Indiana's relationship with Japan is not just about business transactions—it is a rich and meaningful friendship that will continue to grow and create value for both of us.   

This publication is intended for general information purposes only and does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice. The reader should consult with legal counsel to determine how laws or decisions discussed herein apply to the reader’s specific circumstances.

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