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    ECIRP Recaps Industry Appreciation and Business Study Mission Trip to Japan

    November 30, 2016
    The East Central Indiana Regional Partnership conducted an Industry Appreciation and Business Study Mission to Japan from November 10 – 18, 2016.   The delegation was comprised of representatives from east central Indiana including elected officials and economic development leaders from the cities of Richmond and Rushville.  Participants included Mindy Kenworthy, President, East Central Indiana Regional Partnership, The Honorable David Snow, Mayor, City of Richmond, The Honorable Mike Pavey, Mayor, City of Rushville, Valerie Shaffer, President, Economic Development Corporation of Wayne County, John McCane, Executive Director, Rush County Economic & Community Development Corporation and Theresa Kulczak, Executive Director, Japan-America Society of Indiana.
    The purpose of the mission was to express appreciation to existing industry partners which have facilities located in east central Indiana; to explore opportunities for future economic development, investment and trade; and to learn firsthand from Japanese corporate and manufacturing leaders about trends in business and manufacturing. 
    East Central Indiana is the home to 15 Japanese companies that employ nearly 4,000 people.  More broadly, the State of Indiana ranks as a top location for Japanese investment in the United States with 260 companies employing 52,000 Hoosiers. 
    The itinerary included a visit to Tochigi Prefecture which has a sister state relationship with the state of Indiana.  Delegates had the opportunity to have lunch with Vice Governor Seiichi Suzuki. 
    Earlham College located in Richmond, Indiana, has the oldest Japanese study program in the country.  In partnership with Waseda University in Tokyo, the institutions have maintained a student exchange program for 50 years. 
    The delegation also met with representatives from the Japanese External Trade Organization (JETRO).  JETRO is a government-related organization that works to promote mutual trade and investment between Japan and the rest of the world.  Representatives had the opportunity to share information about the region with Tatsuhiro Shindo, Executive Vice President. 
    Individual meetings with existing companies from the region included Aisin (parent to INTAT in Rushville), Asahi Tec, Yamaguchi Mfg., TBK, Suncall and Yukiya all located in Richmond. 
    The delegation had the opportunity to meet with Honda Motor Company to thank them for their investment in east central Indiana.  The region includes many Tier 1 suppliers to the auto maker. 
    Other business meetings included Mitsubishi Heavy, Marubeni Corporation and Takenaka. 

    Additionally, the East Central Indiana Regional Partnership was awarded a $3,500 grant from Duke Energy for the organization's marketing efforts to Japan.