INDIANAPOLIS | Gov. Mike Pence will say sayonara to Indiana next month when he embarks on his first overseas business trip as the state's chief executive.
The Republican is set to head a delegation of Hoosier business leaders and state commerce officials on a nine-day trip to Japan, including stops in Tokyo, Nagoya and Tochigi Prefecture -- Indiana's Japanese sister-state.
"I look forward to renewing our commitment to Japan, opening doors for new investment and jobs in Indiana and telling the story of Indiana as a state that works in America," Pence said.
During the Sept. 5-14 trade mission, Pence plans to call on leaders of Honda, Toyota, Subaru and other Japanese companies with Indiana operations. He also expects to meet with Japanese investors seeking to do business in the state.
"From leading automotive manufacturers to their diverse array of suppliers, Japan's top companies have found homes across all corners of the Hoosier State," Pence said. "Our administration aims to continue to nurture and grow the strong bond between Indiana and Japan that dates back nearly 100 years and has led to more than 42,000 Hoosier jobs in recent years."
Japan is Indiana's largest Asian trading partner, and the country ranks fifth in the purchase of Hoosier exports.
Earlier this year, Japanese automaker Subaru announced plans for a $400 million expansion of its Lafayette operations. The added production of the Subaru Impreza is expected to create up to 900 new jobs.
The cost of the Japan trip will be paid through private donations to the Indiana Economic Development Foundation. No state tax revenues will be used.
Former Gov. Mitch Daniels also led a trade mission to Japan during his first year in office. Daniels ultimately visited the nation of 128 million people five times during his eight years as governor.