OCTOBER 18-21, 2008
Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh North Carolina

Joint Statement for October 21, 2008

The Japan-U.S. Southeast Association and the Southeast U.S./Japan Association held their 32nd Annual Joint Meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina, October 18 to 21, 2008, with the theme of “Building Success through Harmony and Collaboration.” The Chairmen presiding over the meeting were SEUS Chairman John L. Atkins III, FAIA, and the Japan Chairman, Hiromasa Yonekura. Approximately 130 Japanese and 370 American delegates participated this year for a total of 500 delegates. We were honored by the presence of the SEUS state delegation leaders—the Honorable Mike Easley, Governor, the State of North Carolina, this year’s host state; the Honorable Haley Barbour, Governor, the State of Mississippi; the Honorable Timothy Kaine, Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia; the Honorable Neal Wade, Secretary of Commerce of the State of Alabama; the Honorable Jeff Kottkamp, Lt. Governor of the State of Florida; the Honorable Kenneth Stewart, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development; the Honorable Joe E. Taylor, Jr., Secretary of Commerce of the State of South Carolina; the Honorable Susan Whitaker, Commissioner of Tourism of the State of Tennessee -- and also by the participation of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, His Excellency Ichiro Fujisaki; and the Consuls General of Japan: the Honorable Takuji Hanatani from Atlanta; the Honorable Hiroshi Yamaguchi from Miami and the Honorable Hiroshi Sato from Nashville.

In the Opening Ceremony, Chairman Atkins began the Joint Meeting by recognizing the innovative partnerships and notable successes that members of the Associations have forged over the past three decades and highlighting the strength of their ongoing friendship. He noted the presence of the newest SEUS member state, Mississippi, at this important U.S. session. He also highlighted a special feature of the conference, the Governors’ Roundtable, a plenary session moderated by Walter Mears, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Associated Press political reporter, now retired and living in North Carolina.

Following the opening ceremony was the Plenary Keynote Address by Yasuo Hayashi, Chairman and CEO of JETRO. Mr. Hayashi addressed dealing with uncertainties in the global economy, tackling long-term issues facing the world, and strengthening U.S.-Japan economic ties for keeping sustainable growth of the global economy. The Plenary Session, “A Leaders’ Roundtable: Building Success through Harmony and Collaboration,” was a taping for future public television broadcast of a discussion led by veteran Washington, D.C., journalist and author Walter Mears. During the discussion, Governors Easley and Barbour addressed the economies of North Carolina and Mississippi, respectively; the regional and national economic situation; and the upcoming American presidential election. At the Luncheon Program, we were privileged to hear a keynote speech by Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki, who gave a Japanese perspective on the current economic situation and how Japan coped with its own financial crisis in the 1990s. He stressed that Japan will continue to cooperate with the U.S. as a close friend and partner.

Panel members in one panel session that afternoon, “Current Investment Opportunities in Japan and in the Southeast U.S.,” shared their experiences from several recent investment projects and offered their views of favorable investment opportunities that are currently available both in Japan and the Southeastern United States. Panel members included moderator Chris William of “Carolina Business Review;” Masachika Suzuki, Former Lt. Governor and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Shizuoka Prefectural University Corporation; Shigeru Hayakawa, Managing Officer of Toyota Motor Corporation and President, Toyota Motors North America; Dennis C. Cuneo, Executive Advisor & General Counsel of Toyota Boshoku America, Inc.; and Takayoshi Hanagata, President & CEO of Canon Virginia, Inc.

A second, concurrent afternoon panel session, “Energy for the 21st Century: New Alternatives for Growth, Harmony and Balance,” discussed alternative options for energy production in the new century, with emphasis on how these alternatives can provide opportunities for job creation, greater economic growth and sustainability. Panel members included: moderator Masakazu Kubota, Managing Director of Nippon Keidanren; Hiroyuki Ino, Executive Vice President of Tokyo Electric Power Company, Inc.; Satoshi Kawachi, Chairman of the Working Group on Energy and Climate Change of the International Council of Chemical Associations and Senior Advisor of Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd.; David Gipson, Energy Division Director of the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority; and Dr. Dana Christensen, Associate Laboratory Director of the Energy and Engineering Sciences Directorate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The afternoon’s Roundtable Discussion Session, “The SEUS/Japan Partnership: Reviewing 32 Years of Collaboration and Looking Ahead”, was moderated by the Honorable Jim Hunt, four-time Governor of the State of North Carolina. Gov. Hunt discussed lessons from past SEUS/Japan successes to apply to future collaborative projects with Dr. Michael Walden, Distinguished Professor and Extension Economist at N.C. State University; J. Michael Mullis, CEO and President of J.M. Mullis Inc.; and Taizo Nishimuro, Advisor to the Board, Toshiba Corporation and Chairman of the Board, Tokyo Stock Exchange Group, Inc.

Tuesday, October 21st, started with the Plenary Panel Session, “2009 Outlook: Perspectives on the Japanese and Southeastern U.S. Economies,” which included: moderator George D. Gabel Jr., Partner at Holland & Knight; Hiromichi Toya, Senior Advisor of All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd., and Former Vice Minister for International Affairs at the Japanese Transport Ministry; Shigesuke Kashiwagi, Senior Managing Director of Nomura Holdings, Inc., and President & CEO of Nomura Holdings America Inc.; Dr. Samuel Addy, Director and Associate Research Economist at the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Alabama; and Dr. John A. Adams, Jr., President & CEO of Enterprise Florida. Panel members offered several perspectives on the Japanese and Southeastern U.S. economies, addressing both trade and investment opportunities. They also offered their thoughts regarding the economic outlook in both countries for the coming year.

The Plenary Keynote Address, “Politics, Polarization and Prospects for the Future,” was given by W. Hodding Carter III, University Professor of Leadership and Public Policy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Professor Carter also served as State Department spokesman under President Jimmy Carter.

Throughout our program, we exchanged views and opinions with our guest experts and delegates and deepened our understanding on the issues of mutual interest ranging from our shared history, investment, trade, the economy and energy issues. At the same time, we had the pleasure of seeing long-time friends and making new ones. In this year’s Joint Meeting, we reconfirmed the significance of our partnership fostered over more than three decades and reaffirmed our commitment to the joint effort to build our better future.

In the Closing Ceremony, the meeting was adjourned with an announcement that the 33rd Annual Joint Meeting will be held in Tokyo, Japan, October 18-20, 2009.