Japan's Hyogo Prefecture Visits Lincoln

The task of growing Nebraska truly knows no borders.

Trading with other countries continues to be a lucrative and vital proposition for Nebraska's economy, whether it's selling agriculture commodities or the fruits of manufacturing hours. Japan continues to be one of Nebraska's most important international trading partners as Governor Pete Ricketts, Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development investors and the state delegation welcomed Governor Toshizo Ido of Japan's Hyogo Prefecture to Lincoln last week.

The trip was capped off by the signing of a memorandum of understanding on July 26 by Governor Ricketts and Governor Ido, which will further enhance the economic ties between Nebraska and Hyogo in addition to a second MOU that paves the way for new research and educational relationships between the two partners.

"Today, we strengthened our ties with Hyogo and look forward to pursuing new opportunities for economic and social exchange that will benefit both parties. This is a great week for the state of Nebraska."

The relationship between Nebraska and Hyogo has certainly been profitable for both parties. Over half of the 9,400 Nebraskans employed by Japanese companies such as Kawasaki and Yasufuku, continue to strengthen Nebraska. With nearly half of those 9,400 jobs coming from the Lincoln area, the benefits to Lincoln and future workforce development help further a great relationship with Hyogo.

“We are pleased to welcome the Hyogo delegation to Lincoln,” Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development President Wendy Birdsall says.

“Lincoln has a long history of great business relationships with Japanese companies and we look forward to continuing to build on those relationships.”

With government, business and education representatives from Hyogo in attendance, Lincoln’s local business leaders and representatives also attended a business seminar and lunch sponsored by the Partnership for Economic Development on July 26 with over 70 attendees. The relationship building event combined with the Hyogo delegation touring both Kawasaki and Yasufuku plants in Lincoln to cap off a productive day as the relationship continues to grow between the two entities.

Governor Ido praised Nebraska for its continued cooperation and relationship with Hyogo, noting that the investment the state placed in agriculture and manufacturing continues to pay dividends now and will continue to do so for many years to come.

“I look forward to the deepening of the mutual understanding and growing exchange between Nebraska and Hyogo in wide-ranging fields, including the economy,” Governor Ido says.

“I hope to see the exchange of people being promoted even more by the conclusion of an academic agreement between the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and University of Hyogo.”

This year is a milestone one for the relationship between Nebraska and Japan as the Midwest U.S.-Japan Association Conference celebrates its 50th year in Omaha from September 9-11. Hundreds of business leaders from both countries will come to Omaha in hopes of improving their connections and explore how increased cooperation between the U.S. and Japan can be beneficial on many different fronts.

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