Governor Eric J. Holcomb concluded his third economic development trip to Japan yesterday, following a week spent fostering relationships with Indiana’s largest foreign investor and advancing mutually-beneficial partnerships across government, industry and innovation.
“It was great to be back in Japan last week, honoring the longstanding Indiana-Japan relationship and its significant contributions to our shared communities and cultures,” said Gov. Holcomb. “Indiana and Japan share similar values, economies and visions for the future. Bolstered by our strong friendship and drive for new innovations, I’m confident this is just the beginning of success for both Indiana and Japan as we work together to advance next-generation manufacturing, develop the future of mobility, and experience exciting times ahead.”
Gov. Holcomb arrived in Japan on Friday, Sept. 8, along with representatives of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), including Chief Strategy Officer Ann Lathrop. On Saturday, Gov. Holcomb and the delegation traveled to Gunma Prefecture, which is home to a robust manufacturing sector and several Japanese manufacturers that have operations in Indiana, including Subaru Corporation (Lafayette), Chiyoda Manufacturing Corporation (Greencastle), Elsa Corporation (Elwood), Heartland Automotive (Greencastle and Lafayette), TOA USA (Mooresville and Winchester), NHK Seating of America (Frankfort) and Yajima Industry (West Lafayette).
In Gunma Prefecture, Gov. Holcomb met with Governor Ichita Yamamoto to build on the formal Indiana-Gunma Prefecture partnership established in September 2022, discussing opportunities to advance collaboration across business, innovation and community. The delegation also attended a cultural and business reception hosted by Gov. Yamamoto and prefectural leadership to meet with Japanese business and industry leaders and thank them for their contributions to Indiana’s economy.
On Sunday, Gov. Holcomb kicked off the annual Midwest U.S.-Japan Association conference in Tokyo, joining governments of 10 U.S. Midwestern states, eight Japanese prefectures and approximately 100 corporations to advance partnerships across the two regions. There, the Governor met with U.S. and Japanese officials, including U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel, and delivered remarks to the conference on Monday morning, highlighting Indiana’s decades-long relationship with Japan, the state’s robust economy, and opportunities for future growth and innovation across key sectors like the future of mobility, advanced manufacturing, and energy storage and generation.
On Monday, Gov. Holcomb met with Japanese government leaders, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yoshimasa Hayashi, and the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Yasutoshi Nishimura, to discuss the longstanding partnerships between Indiana and Japan and opportunities to support one another’s community and economic development initiatives. The next day, the Governor also met with Tochigi Prefecture Governor Tomikazu Fukuda, recognizing the prefecture’s 24-year sister state relationship with Indiana.
In Tokyo, Gov. Holcomb and the delegation also met with executives of some of Indiana’s largest Japanese investors, including Subaru Corporation, Toyota Motor Corporation, Honda Motor Company and Hitachi Ltd., thanking the businesses for creating new Hoosier jobs, supporting the development of Indiana’s workforce, and investing in Hoosier communities through philanthropy and state strategies like the Indiana Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI). The delegation also attended a business roundtable with Keidanren, Japan’s largest business lobby, highlighting Indiana as a competitive investment location and innovation partner to business prospects, and with the Chairman and CEO of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) to showcase the state’s focus on industries of the future.
Gov. Holcomb and the IEDC wrapped up the economic development trip with a Friends of Indiana reception in Tokyo, hosting key government partners, including Ambassador Emanuel; Japanese businesses invested in or interested in investing in Indiana; Indiana businesses with operations in Japan; as well as Hoosiers living and working in Japan.
This is Gov. Holcomb’s 16th international trip as governor and his third official trip to Japan. Indiana is home to more than 1,050 foreign-owned business establishments, including more than 300 from Japan that account for more than 60,900 Hoosier jobs. Since 2003, Japanese businesses have committed to investing more than $10 billion in Indiana and creating more than 25,600 new jobs. Among all U.S. states, Indiana hosts the largest amount of Japanese investment per capita.
Gov. Holcomb concluded his trip in San Francisco where he participated in a panel discussion at Dreamforce 2023. The governor joined New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu and Marc Benioff, co-founder and CEO of Salesforce, and discussed technology infrastructure, public policy and the significant role AI will play on the future workforce and how it can benefit all Hoosiers.