October 10-22, 2018
New Otani Hotel, Tokyo, Japan

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Official Joint Statement

The Japan-U.S. Southeast Association and the Southeast U.S./Japan Association held their 41st Annual Joint Meeting at Hotel New Otani in Tokyo, Japan, October 18 to 20, 2018, with the theme of “Success through Tradition, Innovation and Partnerships”. Japan Chairman, Mr. Teruo Asada, Chairman of the Board, Marubeni Corporation, and SEUS Chairman, Ms. Minor Mickel Shaw, President of Micco, LLC, presided over the meeting which attracted approximately 300 delegates.

VIPs attending the conference included Ms. Toshiko Abe, State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, H.E. William F. Hagerty, Ambassador of the United States to Japan; the Honorable Takashi Shinozuka, Consul General of Japan in Atlanta; the Honorable Hiroyuki Kobayashi, Consul General of Japan in Nashville; the Honorable Kenji Hirata, Consul General of Japan in Miami and Mr. Hiroyuki Ishige, Chairman & CEO, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO).

The SEUS delegations were led by senior government officials from each jurisdiction including: Jennifer Fletcher, Deputy Secretary of Commerce, State of South Carolina, this year’s co-host state; Greg Canfield, Secretary of Commerce, State of Alabama; Keith A. Norden, President & CEO, Team Volusia Economic Development Corporation, State of Florida; Pat Wilson, Commissioner, Georgia Department of Economic Development, State of Georgia; Jaime M. Miller, Deputy Director for Governmental Affairs and Chief Innovation Officer, State of Mississippi; Elizabeth Crabill, Chief Deputy Secretary of Commerce, State of North Carolina; and Bob Rolfe, Commissioner of Community & Economic Development, State of Tennessee.

In the opening remarks, Co-Chairmen Teruo Asada and Minor Mickel Shaw recognized the importance to take on a leadership role in promoting free trade and investment. They share the importance of discussions given the timely themes covering new economic trends and trade and investment partnerships between the Japan and U.S. 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, “New Economy Treads and Impact on Japan and Southeaster U.S.”, featured a discussion on the theme such as New Technology and Material, Digital Transformation. Panelists included Mr. Shinya Kukita, Chief Engineer, NEC Corporation; Mr. Toshiyuki Kondo, Senior Director, Manufacturing Division, ACM Technology & Production, Toray Industries, Inc.; Dr. Mark Johnson, Founding Director, Center for Advanced Manufacturing, & the Thomas F. Hash Smart State Endowed Chair in Sustainable Development, Clemson University; Dr. Jayanta S. Kapat, UCF Pegasus Professor, and Trustee Chair Professor, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Department, Founding Director, Center for Advanced Turbomachinery & Energy Research, University of Central Florida and Mr. Hiroaki Okashita, Director of Solution Business Development, Red Hat Inc., Tokyo office. The panel was moderated by Mr. Tadashi Handa, Managing Executive Officer, Group Deputy CFO, Tokyo Marine Holdings, Inc.

“U.S. – Japan Partnerships in Trade and Investment: Opportunities in U.S./Japan and 3rd Countries” was the theme of Panel Session II. Attendees heard presentations in such field as manufacturing industry, Infrastructure and Energy. Panelists included Mr. John Bradely, Senior Vice President for Economic Development, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA); Mr. Tetsuo Ogawa, Senior Managing Officer, Toyota Motor Corporation; Mr. Yasushi Fukuizumi, Vice President, Power Systems, Senior General Manager, Power & Energy Solution Business Division, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.; and Mr. Masumi Kakinoki, Senior Executive Vice President, Member of the Board, CEO, Power Business & Plant Group, Marubeni Corporation. Mr. Mark Williams, President, Strategic Development Group, 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 42nd Annual Joint Meeting will be held in Savannah, Georgia from October 20-23, 2019, under the new leadership of Mr. Virgil R. Miller, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, Aflac U.S.; President, Aflac Group Insurance, and Mr. Teruo Asada, Chairman of the Board, Marubeni Corporation.

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