UTSUNOMIYA, Japan (Sept. 9, 2017) – Governor Eric J. Holcomb kicked off his Japan trade mission today, traveling to visit Indiana’s sister-state, Tochigi Prefecture, to strengthen the economic and cultural partnership between the two states that was first established in 1999. Gov. Holcomb and the Indiana delegation met with Tochigi Prefecture Governor Tomikazu Fukuda along with government officials, business associations and Japanese company executives.
“It was a joy to visit our Japanese sister state, Tochigi Prefecture, and further our bonds of friendship and partnership,” said Gov. Holcomb. “Japan is Indiana’s largest foreign direct investor, and I look forward to working with Japan and Japanese companies to take this mutually beneficial relationship to the next level.”
During the meeting, Gov. Holcomb and Gov. Fukuda discussed the importance of the Indiana-Tochigi relationship and the progress the two states have made during the past 18 years. Tochigi Prefecture supports one of Indiana-based Cummins’ global operations and is also home to the headquarters of Fukai Mfg. Co., Ltd., which established manufacturing operations in Jamestown, Indiana, in 2014. A tier 1 automotive supplier, Fukai Toyotetsu Indiana Corporation employs approximately 500 Hoosiers and, in June, announced plans to double its footprint in Boone County, creating more than 100 new jobs.
Indiana and Tochigi also have education and cultural ties. For example, both Purdue University and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis support educational exchanges with Tochigi’s Utsunomiya University and Hakuoh University, respectively. Tochigi Prefecture has led two delegations to Indiana in the past year, joining the state in December 2016 to celebrate its bicentennial and attending the annual Japan-America Society of Indiana gala in June, where Gov. Holcomb and Gov. Fukuda joined Hoosiers to celebrate the strong ties between Indiana and Japan.
Following the meeting, Gov. Holcomb and Gov. Fukuda engaged in a basketball free-throw contest and visited Nikko Toshogu – a world heritage site and resting place of one of Japan’s most famous Shoguns, Iieyasu Tokugawa – to learn more about the history and culture of Tochigi Prefecture.
Tomorrow, Gov. Holcomb will continue the state’s trade mission in Tokyo at the Midwest U.S.-Japan Association Conference, an annual meeting to convene business and government representatives from 10 Midwest states and Japan. For more information regarding the governor’s upcoming schedule and the economic ties between Indiana and Japan, which is the state’s largest foreign investor, visit http://www.in.gov/gov/japan2017.htm.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) leads the state of Indiana’s economic development efforts, helping businesses launch, grow and locate in the state. Governed by a 15-member board chaired by Governor Eric J. Holcomb, the IEDC manages many initiatives, including performance-based tax credits, workforce training grants, innovation and entrepreneurship resources, public infrastructure assistance, and talent attraction and retention efforts. For more information about the IEDC, visit www.iedc.in.gov.