Governor Plans For Trade Mission To Japan
August 13, 2013 — TheStatehouseFile.com
INDIANAPOLIS – Gov. Mike Pence has announced he will lead a trade delegation to Japan for his first overseas job-hunting trip.
Pence said he and business leaders and elected officials will be leave Sept. 5 and return nine days later. The trip will include stops in Tokyo, Nagoya and Tochigi Prefecture, Indiana’s Japanese sister-state.
The trip will be funded by private dollars donated to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. Pence said no tax dollars will be used for the trip.
The governor will attend the Japan-U.S. Midwest Conference and will meet with government and business leaders and potential investors.
Calls to executives from Honda, Toyota and Subaru as well as other companies with Indiana operations will also be part of the governor’s agenda while in Japan.
“From leading automotive manufacturers to their diverse array of suppliers, Japan’s top companies have found homes across all corners of the Hoosier state,” Pence said in a prepared statement about the trip.
“Our administration aims to continue to nurture and grow the strong bond between Indiana and Japan that dates back nearly 100 years and has led to more than 42,000 Hoosier jobs in recent years,” he said. “I look forward to renewing our commitment to Japan, opening doors for new investment and jobs in Indiana and telling the story of Indiana as a state that works in America.”
Former Gov. Mitch Daniels, who left office last January, made five trade trips to Japan during his eight years in office. He also made two trips to China.
Japan is Indiana’s largest Asian trading partner and the state’s fifth largest export country in the world, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Trade Database.
Nearly 44,000 Hoosiers are employed by more than 200 Japanese companies located in the state. Indiana is the only U.S. state that is home to three Japanese original equipment manufacturer automotive companies, Subaru, Toyota and Honda.
Pence’s wife, Karen Pence, plans to be part of the delegation as well as Indiana Secretary of Commerce Victor Smith.
Since 2005, the IEDC has secured projects with 82 Japan-based companies, projecting to create nearly 10,500 new jobs and invest more than $4.1 billion in their Indiana operations, the agency said.
Earlier this year, Pence joined executives from Subaru Automotive of Indiana to announce the company’s plans to invest more than $400 million to expand its Lafayette operations and add production of the Subaru Impreza, creating up to 900 new jobs.
Other Japanese companies to recently announce investment plans in Indiana include Nishikawa Cooper in Bremen, NSK Corp. in Franklin and Sunright America in Columbus.