37th Annual Joint Meeting
September 18-20, 2014
Hotel New Otani Tokyo

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Joint Statement for November 19, 2014

The Japan-U.S. Southeast Association and the Southeast U.S./Japan Association held their 37th Annual Joint Meeting at the New Otani hotel in Tokyo, Japan, September 18 to 20, 2014, with the theme of “Success through Harmony, Tradition and Innovation.” Japan Chairman, Mr. Atsutoshi Nishida, Advisor to the Board, Toshiba Corporation and SEUS Chairman, Mr. William Yates, Chairman of Yates Construction Company, presided over the meeting which attracted approximately 300 delegates.

The SEUS delegations were led by senior government officials from each jurisdiction including: the Honorable Phil Bryant, Governor, State of Mississippi, this year’s co-host state; the Honorable Hugh K. Leatherman, President Pro Tempore, State of South Carolina Senate; Bart Gobeil, Chief Operating Officer, State of Georgia; Greg Canfield, Secretary of Commerce, State of Alabama; Gray Swoope, Secretary of Commerce, State of Florida; Sharon Allred Decker, Secretary of Commerce, State of North Carolina; and Bill Hagerty, Commissioner, Department of Economic and Community Development, State of Tennessee.

VIPs attending the conference included the Honorable Caroline Kennedy, U.S. Ambassador to Japan; the Honorable Kazuo Sunaga, Consul General of Japan in Atlanta; the Honorable Motohiko Kato, Consul General of Japan in Nashville; and Shinji Nagashima, Consul General of Japan in Miami. In the opening remarks, William Yates and Atsutoshi Nishida recognized the growing significance of the spirit of harmony and collaboration. They highlighted the strong ties and mutual trust between the U.S. and Japan and urged the two countries to play a leading role in bringing the world together to meet pressing global challenges. Following the opening remarks, each of the SEUS delegation leaders provided state-specific information and answered questions in a town-hall format.

Panel Session I, “Profiting from the New Environment Landscape,” featured a discussion on how environmental changes in the advanced manufacturing industry impact business planning for future growth and future expansion plans. Panelists included Dr. David R. Shaw, Vice President, Research and Economic Development, Mississippi State University; Mr. Erik M. Kirkhorn, Director, Government Affairs, Toyota Motor North America, Inc..; Mr. Harutoshi Tagaya, Managing Director, The Tokio Marine Research Institute; and Mr. Kiyoshi Sanehira, Head of Corporate Environment Management Office, Toshiba Corporation. The panel was moderated by Mr. Akihiro Sawa, Executive Fellow, The 21st Century Public Policy Institute.

“Japan and SEUS: Strategic Anchors for Global Market Access” was the theme of Panel Session II. Attendees heard presentations on how the Southeastern United States and Japan are well positioned to serve as the gateways to growing global markets. Panelists included Mr. Jeff McCorstin, President, Global Freight Forwarding District, UPS Asia Pacific Region; Mr. Jonathan Daniels, Executive Director & CEO, Mississippi State Port Authority at Gulfport; Mr. Yoji Ohashi, Chairman of the board, ANA Holdings; and Professor Takehiko Sugiyama, President, Institute for Transport Policy Studies. Mr. Hiroyuki Ishige, Chairman and CEO, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), served as moderator.

Throughout the program, views and opinions were exchanged and understanding of the conference issues was deepened. Participants were able to see long-time friends and make new ones. The significance of the partnership was reconfirmed. The value of working together in harmony was recognized and a commitment to the joint effort to help achieve sustainable growth of the U.S. and Japan as well as of the world was affirmed. The meeting was adjourned with an announcement that the 38th Annual Joint Meeting will be held in Birmingham, Alabama at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel from November 14-16, 2015.

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