TOKYO, Japan (September 14, 2009) - Governor Mitch Daniels today expressed a spirit of optimism for the future of economic relations between Japan and Indiana during a speech at the opening ceremony of the 41st Annual Joint Meeting of the Midwest U.S.-Japan Association and Japan-Midwest U.S. Association.
"I truly believe that over the intermediate and long term, we will see an economic resurgence in Middle America," said Daniels. "I believe that the great strengths that have made Indiana and other Midwest states strong throughout our history will be more and more in evidence and more and more in contrast in the years ahead. And I look forward to spending the balance of my time in public service dedicated to seeing that brighter day begin to approach."
The governor recognized Indiana's conference delegation consisting of six mayors, representatives from Indiana's largest universities, and community and business leaders from across the state, the largest representation from any state or prefecture. He then discussed Indiana's attractive business climate and expressed the enthusiasm of Hoosiers to continue to work with Japanese companies.
"Our relationship with Japan has been much more than merely a source of great pride," said Daniels. "It has also been a source of some stability and strength even in the most difficult economy we have seen in decades. The Japanese companies to which we are home have shown themselves, not surprisingly, to be the most fair and committed to their employees in the way they have handled this difficult economic situation. All Hoosiers are thankful for the way in which our Japanese friends, through their efficiency and care for their workers, have helped us to manage through this difficult situation.
"To sum up the Indiana story for those who might consider investments in America, Indiana offers Midwest workers and Midwest location at Sun Belt costs," he said to conclude his remarks.
Following his conference appearance, Daniels met with Japanese companies that currently have operations in Indiana, including Mitsubishi Corporation, Honda Motor Company and Sony Corporation. Mitsubishi Corporation is the parent company of several Indiana companies, including Indiana Packers, a pork processing plant in Delphi, which announced plans to expand its operation during Daniels' jobs mission to Japan in 2006. Honda Motor Company began production of the Civic automobile at its Greensburg manufacturing facility last year, and Sony Corporation currently has a Blu-ray manufacturing facility in Terre Haute.
Daniels will conclude his final full day of business meetings in Japan on Tuesday when he meets with executives from Toyota Motor Corporation and Fuji Heavy Industries.
Audio of the governor's speech and photos from today's events may be found at: www.in.gov/gov/asia09.htm.
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