INDIANAPOLIS – Governor Mike Pence, First Lady Karen Pence and a delegation of Hoosier business and community leaders will travel to Japan today on an economic development mission to bring jobs and investments to Indiana.
“Since my first day as governor, job creation has been job one. Japan is Indiana’s largest foreign direct investor and there is immense opportunity to fortify relationships with Japanese companies and secure even more jobs for Hoosiers,” said Pence. “Japan has recognized Indiana’s work ethic and strong Hoosier values, choosing time and again to place their confidence in Indiana. We have organized this trip around visiting current customers to thank them for their investment and potential customers to discuss why our state works for business.”
This will be Pence’s first overseas trade mission as governor. The 40-person state delegation includes two mayors, 19 business leaders and six local economic development officials. In addition to Governor Pence and First Lady Karen Pence, the state will be represented by Secretary of Commerce Victor Smith.
Participating in various cultural events will be Governor Pence’s daughter, Charlotte Pence. The governor will personally pay for the trip expenses of his daughter.
The cost of the state delegation is being covered through private donations to the Indiana Economic Development Foundation and utilizes no tax dollars.
The governor will depart Indiana on Sept. 5 and return on Sept. 14. Below is his daily itinerary for the trip:
Saturday, September 7
Governor Mike Pence and First Lady Karen Pence will travel by train to Tochigi Prefecture, Indiana’s sister state in Japan, where he will meet with Tochigi Governor Tomikazu Fukuda and commemorate the sister-state relationship.
Sunday, September 8
The governor will attend the Midwest U.S.-Japan Association Conference Executive Meeting and welcome reception in Tokyo. Pence is one of five Midwest governors scheduled to attend the conference.
Monday, September 9
Governor Pence will address attendees at the opening ceremony of the Midwest U.S.-Japan Association Conference and meet with representatives from NSK Ltd. and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
In the evening, the governor and first lady will attend the conference’s annual dinner.
Tuesday, September 10
The governor and IEDC officials will conduct business meetings with prospective companies as well as companies that currently have operations in Indiana, including Mitsui & Co. Ltd., Mitsui Mining & Smelting Co., Ltd., Sony Corp. Mitsubishi Corp and Keihin Corp.
The first lady will tour Vera Bradley’s stores in Tokyo. Fort Wayne, Ind.-headquartered Vera Bradley is currently featured in 14 department stores across Japan.
In the evening, the governor and first lady will host a Friends of Indiana reception.
Wednesday, September 11
The governor, first lady and delegation will travel by train to Ota City. There, the governor will join leaders from Subaru to tour its campus and attend a luncheon hosted by the company. In the afternoon, the governor will meet with executives from Tao Industries and Shigeru Co., Ltd.
The first lady will visit elementary and high school students in Ota City, the Japanese sister city of Lafayette, Ind. Prior to the trip, Mrs. Pence asked Lafayette third graders to draw self-portraits based on the theme, “Me Seeing My Favorite Things.” At Ota Elementary School in Japan, she will share the Lafayette students’ artwork and ask the Ota third graders to also create art based on the project’s theme. She will then bring back the artwork to the Lafayette students to complete the art exchange.
Thursday, September 12
The governor will begin the day in Tokyo meeting separately with Mr. Yasuyuki Yoshinaga, president and chief executive officer of Fuji Heavy Industries, Ltd., and Mr. Takanobu Ito, president and chief executive officer of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. The governor, first lady and delegation will then travel by train to Nagoya to meet with leaders from Toyota Tsusho Corp., Sugiura Seisakusho Co., Ltd. and a company currently considering investment in the Hoosier State.
In the evening, the governor and first lady will host a reception in Nagoya for Japanese business leaders to learn more about Indiana.
Friday, September 13
The governor will meet with leaders from Toyota Group companies including Toyota Boshoku Corp., Toyota Motor Corp. and Toyota Industries Corp., Tsuda Industries Co., Ltd. and Aisin Seiki.
Saturday, September 14
The governor, first lady and members of the delegation will return to Indiana from Nagoya.
Members of the delegation are:
Governor Mike Pence
First Lady Karen Pence
Victor Smith, Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC)
Anthony Aaron, Ice Miller LLP
Steve Akard, IEDC
Kent Anderson, IEDC
Ron Arnold, Mayor, City of Elwood
Donald Babcock, NIPSCO
Bart Beal, Duke Energy
Robert Blough, Interactive Intelligence Group
Kumiko Brunson, Pioneer Realty
Kai Chuk, IEDC
Robert Cleveland, Indiana Michigan Power
Kathryn Ertel, Jennings County Economic Development Commission
Teddy Franklin, Mayor, City of Logansport
Brian Gildea, Indy Chamber
Jody Hamilton, Greater Lafayette Commerce
Katelyn Hancock, IEDC
Rebecca Helmke, IEDC
Jason Hester, Columbus Economic Development Board
Larry Ingraham, Ingraham & Associates, Inc
Michael Kern, Gaylor Inc.
Lawrence Keyler, McGladrey LLP
Jeffrey Knight, Old National Bank
Theresa Kulczak, Japan-America Society of Indiana
Lori Luther, IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital
Cynthia Madrick, Cornerstone Environmental, Health and Safety, Inc.
Mark Miller, Cornerstone Environmental, Health and Safety, Inc.
Peter Morse, Barnes & Thornburg
Todd Mosby, Gibson County Economic Development Corporation
Jennifer Pavlik, Office of the Governor
Rick Pease, Independent Consultant
Melissa Reese, Ice Miller LLP
Roger Reeves, Interactive Intelligence
James Schellinger, CSO Architects, Inc.
Mark Sebree, Vectren Corporation
Michael Sheek, American Structurepoint, Inc.
Jeffrey Terp, Ivy Tech Community College
Greg Wathen, Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana
Three members of the governor and first lady’s security detail also will travel.