Aichi Governor Visits North Texas to Build U.S.-Japan Business Connections
RICHARDSON, May 30, 2023 – The Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth (JASDFW) had the pleasure of welcoming The Honorable Hideaki OHMURA, Governor of Aichi Prefecture for a dinner on May 9 with local leaders from business, economic development, and government. This was Governor Ohmura’s first time in the United States in five years, since his last visit to Texas in May 2018. The governor visited four regions during his 2023 trip, including the Texas cities of Austin, Dallas, and Houston, and the U.S. capital of Washington, DC.
The May 9 dinner took place at the Texas Restaurant, a well-known destination for Lone Star State hospitality and cuisine. 30 guests from Aichi Prefecture and the Dallas/Fort Worth business community joined the event. JASDFW President Harry Whalen opened the evening by showing his gratitude for the governor’s visit and presenting him with the Society’s inaugural Distinguished Leadership Award. Former Honorary Consul General of Dallas (2004-20), John Stich, and current Honorary Consul of Dallas, Hisashi “Sam” Shichijo, both shared comments on the strong business ties and potential for growth between North Texas and Aichi Prefecture.
The dinner and the governor’s trip were made possible by the Government of Aichi and the hard work of Texas-Japan Office Director Hiroyuki WATANABE. In the Dallas area, Governor Ohmura was also hosted by the City of Plano for a working lunch and met with the Denso Texas Innovation and Connected Service Center, NTT DATA, and Toyota Motor North America, to learn about Aichi-based companies’ operations in Texas.
During his visit to Austin, Governor OHMURA was hosted by The Honorable Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, as the two discussed deepening friendship and exchange between the two sub-national areas. Aichi Prefecture and Texas also signed an April 2016 “Memorandum of Understanding on Friendly Exchange and Mutual Cooperation,” which covers economic exchange, cultural sharing, and human resource development.
Governor OHMURA met with officials at The University of Texas at Austin, which already has a cooperative relationship with Aichi Prefecture’s start-up support program, where they exchanged views on future projects. His time in Austin also included conversations with SXSW and CKD Corporation to explore innovation and manufacturing.
In Houston, he visited The ION, Greentown Labs, MD Anderson Cancer Center, NASA’s Mission Control Center, and the Texas Medical Center to explore supporting an environment conducive to start-ups, entrepreneurship, and innovation in science and technology. While in Washington, DC, the governor met with advocates in human rights, policy leaders, elected officials, including The Honorable Joaquin Castro, U.S. Representative (TX-20), and diplomats, including His Excellency Koji TOMITA, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the United States.
Hideaki OHMURA has been in office since 2011 as the governor of Aichi Prefecture, which is one of Japan’s three largest metropolitan areas and is home to numerous global Japanese companies, including Toyota Motor Corporation. Learn more about the governor’s visit through his Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/ohmura_hideaki.