The largest Kentucky delegation to visit Japan in 30 years returned to the Commonwealth on Thursday after an eight-day business mission to Tokyo, Nagoya and Kyoto. The Kentucky Chamber-led mission was highlighted by a reception honoring Gov. Steve Beshear and the Chamber delegation at U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy’s residence in Tokyo.
With Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Kentucky’s Wil James, Jr. as this year’s Chairman of the Kentucky Chamber’s board of directors, 2015 presented a perfect opportunity for the Chamber to sponsor a delegation to Japan.
“We’re pleased that Ambassador Kennedy provided us with this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet with and thank a large group of companies that provide so many jobs and economic opportunities for Kentuckians,” said Chamber President and CEO Dave Adkisson. “This was the largest Kentucky delegation to visit Japan in several decades, and we’re very proud that the Chamber was able to play a leading role in such an historic visit.
Although Gov. Beshear was in Japan, Singapore and Taiwan on a separate economic development mission, he met with Chamber leaders at the reception and during the delegation’s tour of the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology in Nagoya.
“The key purpose of the trip was to say ‘thank you’ to the 170 Japanese companies that have operations in Kentucky,” said Adkisson.
The reception was hosted by Ambassador Kennedy and sponsored by Beam Suntory, a Japanese corporation that recently acquired Beam, Inc., Jim Beam Brands and Maker’s Mark.