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Governor Granholm Announces Midwest U.S.-Japan Conference in Detroit

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Liz Boyd

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced an upcoming conference with Japanese officials to discuss the importance of economic development, and also to share mutual efforts to promote more investment and job creation both in Michigan and Japan.

The 42nd Annual Midwest U.S.-Japan Association Conference will be held September 12 to 14 at the Renaissance Center in Detroit. The last time Michigan hosted this prestigious event was in 1993 in Grand Rapids. Governors and company officials will travel from Japan to participate in this conference, titled "Powering the Future: Transformation and Growth," together with five other Midwestern governors.

"For more than four decades, we have used this conference to renew our ties with Japan and strengthen our partnership in economic development, job creation, educational and cultural relationships, and environmental protection," Granholm said.

Keynote speakers and panelists include governors from the Midwest and Japan; H.E. Ichiro Fujisaki, Japanese ambassador to the United States; top officials with Michigan-based alternative energy companies, including Hemlock Semiconductor and Johnson Controls; David Sandalow, Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs, U.S. Department of Energy; Dr. David E. Cole, Chairman of the Center for Automotive Research; and top officials from Japanese companies such as Toyota and the Kikkoman Corporation.

Granholm will also meet with Gov. Yukiko Kada, of Shiga Prefecture. This Michigan-Shiga partnership is the oldest and most comprehensive sister state relationship between the United States and Japan. Residents of Michigan and Shiga continue to maintain close ties through partnership activities between sister cities and exchanges involving students, teachers, community members and government officials.

"Japanese officials have taken note of Michigan’s success in attracting alternative energy businesses and our leadership in the United States’ alternative energy industry," Granholm said. "As our economy continues to grow, we’ll look to our economic partners in Japan to be a part of Michigan’s transformation."

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