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Office of Governor Pete Ricketts

Gov. Ricketts’ Japan Trade Mission Comes to a Close

Audio of the Governor’s comments below can be found here.

TOKYO, JAPAN – Today, Governor Ricketts and the Nebraska delegation met with executives from the Kewpie Corporation, whose subsidiary is Henningsen Foods, which has investments in Omaha, Norfolk, David City, and Ravenna.  The Governor thanked them for their contributions and assured them that they would continue to have support from the State of Nebraska.

“Japan is Nebraska’s largest foreign investor, and it is important that Nebraska continues to grow this relationship,” said Gov. Ricketts.  “This week’s activities have allowed us to discuss how we can build on existing relationships, and to thank some of the numerous businesses who invest in our state.”

Kewpie is one of Japan's leading food products companies.  Through its subsidiaries, Kewpie manufactures, wholesales, transports, and warehouses food products in Japan and throughout the world.

The last two days of the mission have been filled with meetings with Japanese companies that have substantial investments inside the state, such as Marubeni, Kawasaki, and Itochu.  Marubeni acquired Gavilon in Omaha two years ago for $2.7 billion and they are one of Japan’s largest conglomerates involved in numerous industries including agricultural goods, commodities, and consumer and energy products.

Kawasaki has been involved with the state for over 40 years, with its latest project being the production of commuter rail cars in its Lincoln plant. Kawasaki’s latest contract with the Washington Area Metropolitan Transit Authority calls for the production of more than 500 rail cars, with financing recently approved for an additional 220, making the current contract worth about $2 billion.

Itochu, Japan’s second-largest trading company, has invested in a 50-million-gallon per year, next-generation biodiesel fuel project, with Flint Hills Resources LLC and Benefuel Inc. that is being jointly developed in Beatrice.

Tomorrow, the Governor and representatives from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development will travel to China to meet with business executives and government officials.