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Agenda set for governor’s nine-day Japan trip

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A nine-day trade mission to Japan to mark the 25th anniversary of the state’s development office in Nagoya will include stops in that city, along with Yokohama and Tokyo and receptions marking the anniversary in both Tokyo and Nagoya, a Department of Commerce spokeswoman said.

The trade mission, which starts Tuesday and continues through May 21, will also feature a state exhibit and the delegation hosting a seminar at JSAE, Japan’s largest automotive trade show, according to Chelsea Ruby, director of marketing and communications for the department.

Other highlights of the visit will include an address by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to the Nagoya Chamber of Commerce, a reception hosted by the West Virginia University alumni chapter in Tokyo, as well as a number of meetings with current and potential investors, she said.

The trade office in Japan opened in 1990, under then-Gov. Gaston Caperton, although the concept was first proposed by Jay Rockefeller when he was governor, and Rockefeller was instrumental in persuading state officials to locate the office in the manufacturing center of Nagoya as opposed to the capitol of Tokyo.

Although criticized when it initially failed to pay off in state investments, Ruby said the Nagoya development office has proven to be a success over its 25 years…

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