Japanese Executives Visit 
West Virginia to Learn About Aerospace and Shale Gas Opportunities.


On October 6, the DRWV Foundation, in partnership with the West Virginia Development Office and the Mid-Atlantic Aerospace Complex (MAAC), sponsored a luncheon for 

46 senior level executives from Japan's Chubu region at the North Central West Virginia Airport in Bridgeport.  U.S. Senators Jay Rockefeller, Joe Manchin, Governor Tomblin and the West Virginia Department of Commerce's Cabinet Secretary, Keith Burdette, served as the event's hosts and welcomed the group on behalf of the state while lauding the importance of the strong business relationship between 

West Virginia and companies from the Chubu region.


The luncheon marked the celebration of a shared vision between West Virginia and Japan that began nearly 25 years ago, when the state, at the recommendation of Senator Jay Rockefeller, located a state office in Nagoya, Japan.  Today, there are 20 Japanese companies located in West Virginia which support more than 2,500 employees statewide.  Many of those companies including Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia and NGK Spark Plugs (USA) Inc., have headquarters in the Chubu region of Japan.  The Chubu region is the hub of Japan's manufacturing industry accounting for
20 percent of total Japanese manufacturing output.    


"The people of Japan and West Virginia share a common bond", Senator Rockefeller said.  "We are both rooted in our land.  We are tireless workers.  We have experienced adversity, yet remained steadfast and centered.  The core connections between West Virginians and the Japanese are the foundation of a strong and stable economic and cultural relationship between Japanese businesses, the people of Japan, and the people of West Virginia.  And I'm proud of the role I played in helping foster and continue to build that relationship." 


The delegation made up of members of the Chubu Association of Corporate Executives visited West Virginia during a 10 day nationwide tour aimed at learning more about the automotive, aerospace and shale gas industries.  While in West Virginia, the delegation toured Pratt & Whitney Engine Services and were briefed on economic opportunities in the shale gas industry by Mike McCown, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Gastar Exploration.

Senator Manchin hopes that the emerging shale gas industry can become a new path for Japanese companies to find continued success in the Mountain State.  "For more than two decades, West Virginia and Japan have enjoyed a business partnership and friendship that has driven unprecedented economic growth and success for both regions," Senator Manchin said.  "I'm honored to have welcomed our friends from Japan to the Mountain State to not only show them that our relationship remains strong, but that our state remains the epicenter for business and manufacturing in the United States thanks to our outstanding workforce.  This friendship will continue to serve as an important part of both West Virginia's and Japan's efforts to boost economic success, create innovative business opportunities, attract good-paying jobs and build the brightest futures possible for our families, from the Chubu region to the Kanawha Valley and beyond."

Discover the Real West Virginia Foundation, Inc.
405 Capitol Street, Suite 512
Charleston, West Virginia  25301

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