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Gov. Holcomb highlights Japanese contributions to Indiana’s culture, economy in Tokyo

Balbir Singh | September 10, 2019 09:53 AM

TOKYO: Governor Eric J. Holcomb, First Lady Janet Holcomb, Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger and the Indiana delegation continued their economic development trip in Asia, traveling to Tokyo to meet with Japanese business leaders and government officials.

Gov. Holcomb joined fellow U.S. and Japan governors on Sunday and Monday for the 51st annual Midwest U.S.-Japan Association Conference, which convened business and government representatives from 10 U.S. Midwestern states and eight prefectures in Japan. The governors discussed the U.S.-Japan partnership and opportunities to advance cooperation in today’s global, 21st century economy, and they joined state delegations Sunday evening to kick off the conference.

On Monday morning, Gov. Holcomb offered remarks during the conference’s opening ceremony, highlighting the state's commitment to increasing Indiana’s international engagement and global connectivity. The governor’s vision of taking Indiana to the world and bringing the world back to Indiana builds upon the momentum created by the decades-long relationship with Japan, which has resulted in 319 Japanese business facilities now operating across the state, supporting more than 67,200 Hoosier jobs, according to communication received from Indiana Economic Development Corporation.

In Tokyo, the delegation met with executives of Toyota Motor Corporation, including Vice Chairman Mr. Shigeru Hayakawa, and Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Indiana (TMMI), including President Millie Marshall. TMMI was established in Princeton, Indiana, in 1996 and is the only location where the Toyota Highlander, Sequoia and Sienna are manufactured. The company employs 5,000 Hoosiers and supports nearly 80 automotive suppliers in Indiana. Additionally, Toyota Motor Corporation is a central part of the Toyota Industrial Group, which supports 47 companies in Indiana, including Toyota Industries, Aisin Seiki, Toyota Boshoku, DENSO and Toyota Tsusho.

Gov. Holcomb, Secretary Schellinger and the delegation also participated in a business roundtable event with Keidanren, the largest business lobby in Japan, with more than 1,300 representative companies. Gov. Holcomb offered remarks to the group, sharing ways the state is skilling up its workforce, and Secretary Schellinger provided an overview of various Next Level initiatives that are enhancing connectivity, talent and quality of place across the state.

Additionally, Gov. Holcomb, Secretary Schellinger and IEDC Board Members Fred Merritt, Kristin Marcuccilli, and Mark Neal met with Japan Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko to discuss the Indiana-Japan relationship. In 2017, the governor signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Japan to enhance partnership opportunities, and the two groups discussed bilateral milestones that have been achieved since then, including multiple transpacific delegations and increased foreign direct investment.

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