COLUMBUS – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced he will lead a business development mission to Japan in September.
Japan is Ohio’s top international investor, with more than 72,860 Ohioans employed at 852 different Japan-owned establishments across the state. Japan also was Ohio’s fifth largest export market for Ohio products in 2018, when Ohio firms exported more than $1.67 billion worth of products to Japan.
“Ohio and Japan share a special investment relationship, and my administration is committed to strengthening those ties,” said Governor DeWine. “This business development mission looks to find new opportunities for partnership and build upon the successes and ties that have benefitted the people of both Ohio and Japan.”
Official meetings and events are scheduled from Sept. 8-13.
In addition to growing relationships with current and prospective company investors, the Governor will seek to create more awareness of Ohio for company representatives, key influencers, and government leaders.
J.P. Nauseef, JobsOhio president and chief investment officer, and Lydia Mihalik, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency, will join the Governor to support the mission.
Anchoring the mission will be Governor DeWine’s visit to the 51st Midwest U.S.-Japan Association (MWJA) annual conference in Tokyo. MWJA is a bilateral organization comprised of the governments of ten U.S. Midwestern states, eight prefectures in Japan, and about 100 Japanese corporations.
This will be the first visit by an Ohio Governor to the MWJA Annual Conference in more than a decade. In addition to the Governor’s delegation, more than 50 government and economic development officials will represent Ohio regions and communities at the conference.
The mission will also include a visit to the Saitama Prefecture, Ohio’s sister state in Japan. Next year marks the 30th anniversary of the Ohio-Saitama sister state relationship. Governor DeWine plans to explore ways to build on the strong ties that have been established with Saitama.
Governor DeWine has been deeply engaged in boosting Ohio investment since the beginning of his administration. On his third day in office, Governor DeWine attended the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Mich., which included visits with Japanese automakers and suppliers. In February, Governor DeWine and First Lady Fran DeWine met with Japan’s Ambassador to the United States, Shinsuke J. Sugiyama, at the Embassy of Japan during a meeting of the National Governors Association. In June, Governor DeWine took advocacy of Ohio to the SelectUSA Summit in Washington, D.C., where he also met Japanese business leaders and economic development professionals.