FARGO, ND – The North Dakota Trade Office (NDTO) is hosting the Japanese Consul General Hiroshi Tajima along with representatives from the Japanese External Trade Organization (JETRO) and Honorary Consul Ron Leonhardt this week. The visit is a continuation of the Japanese Consulate in Chicago’s Grassroots Caravan initiative in which they seek to collaborate with state, regional, and local leaders and build economic cooperation between Japan and the US. Following a successful visit to western ND in August 2021, the delegation is interested in learning more about the agriculture, energy, and technology industries across the state. Their visit to ND included meetings with Governor Burgum, Commerce Commissioner James Leiman, and NDTO’s Executive Director Drew Combs, as well as tours of SB&B Foods in Casselton, ND, Red Trail Energy in Richardton, ND, and a special visit to Crary Industries in West Fargo, ND, which is a subsidiary of Yamabiko Corporation based in Tokyo, Japan.
“It is an honor to host the Japanese Consul General Tajima and his team in North Dakota,” says Governor Burgum. “We are excited for the many collaborative opportunities in energy, technology and agriculture that will benefit many North Dakotans for years to come.” With a variety of potential investment opportunities, both the Japanese and ND companies can work closely to achieve mutually beneficial endeavors. Commissioner Leiman explains that “The relationship we have with Japan is special. We share similar values, enjoy long-term relationships and have a desire to jointly grow our economies using innovation to accelerate clean energy development.” ND is growing in many leading sectors, and with increasing connections to establish relationships worldwide, the state will be paving the way in more industries across the globe.
“The NDTO looks forward to facilitating ongoing relationships with our Japanese partners in a variety of sectors throughout North Dakota. Sustaining these connections is integral for many cooperative projects in the future,” says Combs. As ND looks to continue advancement across agriculture, energy, and technology industries, growing partnerships will help sustain and positively impact the economy.
In addition to strengthening business ties, Consul General Tajima and the delegation took time to visit Miss Okayama, a nearly 100-year-old Japanese-American Friendship Doll, which is housed in the Emily Reynolds Historic Costume Collection at NDSU.
A governor-led Japanese trade mission is planned for the second half of 2022, with more details forthcoming. This trade mission, planned by the NDTO and the ND Department of Commerce, is an opportunity to reinvigorate existing relationships and connect with the Japanese in their own country, further cementing partnerships between the two governments.
Additional photos of the visit are available upon request.