2018 was a busy year for Northeast Indiana and Japanese relations. With three visits from Consul-General Nakio Ito, hosting the 1st Annual Japan-Northeast Indiana Summit, attending the 50th Midwest U.S.-Japan Conference in Omaha, Nebraska, coordinating the Japan Manufacturing Seminar at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne, and most recently traveling to Japan with Grow Wabash County, the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership has set its sits on increasing Japanese relations in Northeast Indiana.
During the November trip to Japan, Sarah Rodriguez from the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership traveled with a delegation from Wabash County. This delegation included: Mayor Scott Long, Mayor of Wabash; Keith Gillenwater, President & CEO of Grow Wabash County; Jason Callahan, Superintendent of Wabash City Schools; Bob Mason, Vice President and International Sales Manager; Lisa Ford, Ford Meter Box, and Kaoru Mason. While meeting with the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, JETRO Osaka, Aichi and Tochigi Prefectural governments, the delegation was able to build stronger networks between Northeast Indiana and Japan. In addition, the delegation met with various school systems and universities in order to create new exchange opportunities, and Japanese companies looking to expand into the U.S. economic market.
As Northeast Indiana looks to 2019, opportunities to continue to strengthen and grow Japanese relationships will continue. Notably, the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership along with community and business partners, will host the 2nd Annual Japan-Northeast Indiana Summit in April 2019. The 2019 Summit will focus on supporting existing Northeast Indiana Japanese investment through presentations on workforce attraction, workforce retention, American/Japanese management culture, and more.
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*This article was pulled directly from the January 2019 issue of Nippon Quarterly. No edits or changes were made by any of the Grow Wabash County staff.