Governor Walker Encourages Japanese Business Leaders to Consider Investing in Wisconsin
Governor hosts “Wisconsin Opportunity” events, meets privately with business leaders as part of eight-day trade mission
Governor Scott Walker and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Secretary and CEO Mark Hogan met with dozens of Japanese business executives in Tokyo today as part of their efforts to encourage overseas companies to invest in Wisconsin.“The more company leaders around the world learn about the advantages of doing business in Wisconsin, the more likely they are to seriously consider investing in our state, and that’s what these meetings were all about,” Governor Walker said. “During these meetings, we highlighted the state’s central location, talented workforce and pro-business climate as key reasons why these leaders should consider growing in Wisconsin.”
Governor Walker began the day by leading an “Opportunity in Wisconsin” networking breakfast with more than 50 business leaders, many of whom were from companies interested in establishing or expanding business operations in the U.S. In speaking to those business leaders, the governor focused on the longstanding relationship between Japan and Wisconsin, the strength of key industries such as manufacturing and water technology, the state’s favorable business climate, and Wisconsin’s commitment to workforce development. Governor Walker also highlighted the powerful partnership between private industry, academia and government.
The meetings came on the fourth day of Governor Walker’s trade mission to Japan and South Korea. The governor is leading a 22-member delegation that includes Secretary Hogan; Katy Sinnott, vice president of International Business Development for WEDC; and executives from eight Wisconsin companies. The delegation leaves Japan on Wednesday morning for the second leg of the trip.
Governor Walker and Secretary Hogan also met with top executives at the world headquarters of Fujifilm, a global corporation that provides imaging, information, and document solutions worldwide. Fujifilm has two operations in Wisconsin: Cellular Dynamics International in Madison and FUJIFILM TeraMedica Inc. in Milwaukee.
Governor Walker met with Kenji Sukeno, president and chief operating officer, Yuzo Toda, senior executive vice president and chief technology officer and other leaders to acknowledge the investment Fujifilm has made in Wisconsin, tour the company’s technology hub and discuss potential future investment in the state.
The governor also met today with Masaki Sakuyama, president and CEO of Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, a global manufacturer of electrical and electronic products for home and commercial use in energy generation and distribution, industrial automation, information and communication systems, electronic devices and home appliances.
During the meeting with Mr. Sakuyama and other company leaders, Governor Walker highlighted Wisconsin’s industry clusters that align best with the company’s needs, including energy, power and control, aerospace and aviation, and digital manufacturing.
The entire Wisconsin delegation ended the day with a business dinner hosted by Yuzaburo Mogi, honorary CEO and chairman of the board of the Kikkoman Corp., whose North American corporate headquarters is located in Walworth County. Kikkoman Corp. was the first Japanese firm to establish a manufacturing operation in the U.S. when it opened a soy sauce brewery in Walworth County in 1973. That facility is now responsible for nearly half of the company’s global production of soy sauce.
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Andrew Jones is a partner in the Milwaukee office of Husch Blackwell LLP.