|Start Date: ||11/4/2011|
|End Date: ||11/4/2011|
Last Friday I was privileged to represent Indiana legislative leadership at Japan's Tochigi Prefecture visit. Japan has 47 prefectures similar to America's 50 states. Gov. Tomikazu Fukuda, his administrative leaders and several Tochigi Assembly members (similar to our General Assembly) formed a 9-person delegation. This visit followed Indiana's recent trade mission to Japan lead by Lt. Governor Becky Skillman and attended by our own Tell City Mayor Barbara Ewing and Perry County Development Corporation Executive Committee Chris Kinnett.
The country of Japan remains traumatized by the effects of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. In addition to the human tragedy, Japanese industry struggles to produce as energy shortages abound. It is common that a Japanese company would have black out days during the week in an attempt to make up some of the lost production on the weekend. Lt. Gov. Skillman has expressed the bittersweet likelihood that Indiana may benefit as we are able to provide production capacity for some of their industries.
We are grateful for our Japanese connection in southwest Indiana to Toyota and many of its suppliers including ATTC Manufacturing in Tell City and the recent announcement of North American Lighting which is building a facility in Warrick County. These companies make significant capital investments in our communities, provide excellent employment opportunities for our workforce and are strong corporate citizens.
The luncheon with Gov. Fukuda and his team was an opportunity to thank Japanese leaders for their investment in Indiana, to offer our support during these difficult times, and to continue to strengthen the relationship Indiana has made with Japan.
The days have long passed that allowed southwest Indiana to be a self-contained island unto itself. We live in a globally connected world where an earthquake in Japan can have unexpected consequences in Indiana. Our willingness to reach out and build trade relationships globally is more important than ever. It was my pleasure to represent southwest Indiana and our progressive Hoosier state to Governor Fukuda, his team and Tochigi Assembly colleagues.
Rep. Sue Ellspermann (R-Ferdinand)
Ellspermann Edition, Governor Fukuda and Delegation Visit Indiana, 11-4-11.doc