Governor Mike Pence today announced he will lead a delegation of Hoosier business leaders and elected officials on his first gubernatorial overseas jobs and economic development mission to Japan.
The governor will depart Indiana on Sept. 5 and return on Sept. 14. During the trip, he will travel to Tokyo, Nagoya and Tochigi Prefecture, Indiana's Japanese sister-state. He 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," said Pence. "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. 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."
Indiana counts Japan as its largest Asian trading partner. It is Indiana'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.
The cost of the state delegation is being covered entirely through private donations to the Indiana Economic Development Foundation; no tax dollars will be used. In addition to Governor Pence, the state will be represented by First Lady Karen Pence and Secretary of Commerce Victor Smith. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) has an office in Nagoya and representatives will assist with trip arrangements.
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. 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.