Japanese delegation visits southern Illinois to discuss economic - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Japanese delegation visits southern Illinois to discuss economic development

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WSIL-TV -- Japanese Consul General Naoki Ito and members of his staff toured southern Illinois Wednesday, meeting with local leaders to discuss potential economic development by Japanese companies in the region.

"I really wanted to look at what's taking place in Southern Illinois with my own eyes and I'm really impressed the way existing companies here enjoying very good working environment, investment climate here in Mt. Vernon and Southern Illinois," he said.

The delegation visited Magnum Steel works and Continental Tire in Mt. Vernon, before being joined by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner to discuss economic development and education in Southern Illinois.

Rauner visited Japan in September as part of an 8-day trade trip.

"We've got the opportunity for training young people and veterans and those who need career changes to supply a world class workforce for Japanese firms and frankly firms from all over the world," Rauner said during a stop at Rend Lake College.

Wednesday, Governor Rauner pitched the Consul General on Southern Illinois as an investment strategy for Japanese companies, and fielded questions about future development in the region.

Consul General Ito says he was impressed with the area, which already houses several Japanese companies employing several thousand employees.

He says those company's track record of success could result in more Japanese companies opening shop in southern Illinois.

"We see great strengths here, so high possibility of further developing two way economic partnership between Japan and Illinois, in particular with Mt. Vernon and southern Illinois area," Ito said.

The delegation also spent part of the day at the Japanese owned AISIN plant in Marion.

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