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Office of Governor Pete Ricketts

Gov. Ricketts Hosts Special Adviser to Japan’s Prime Minister Abe

Media Contacts:  

Taylor Gage, 402-471-1970

Luke Robson, 402-471-1967



Governor Ricketts meets with Kentaro Sonoura, Special Adviser to

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, at the State Capitol. 


LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts welcomed Kentaro Sonoura, Special Adviser to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, to the State Capitol.  The meeting comes in advance of the 50th Annual Midwest U.S.–Japan Association Conference, which will be held in Omaha in September.


“Nebraska and Japan have a long tradition of building strong partnerships, which has created a mutually beneficial relationship,” said Governor Ricketts.  “Our shared values underlie the success of these partnerships—family, hard work, and innovation.  Nebraskans, and people from across the country, are invited to join us in Omaha for the conference in September to discuss how we can continue to grow trade, jobs, and investment.”


“The Japanese Government places high importance on further developing relations with state governments in the U.S., in particular, with the state of Nebraska, and I appreciate the opportunity to discuss matters of mutual interest with Governor Ricketts,” said Special Adviser Sonoura.  “We would like to cooperate for the success of 50th Anniversary conference of Japan-Midwest U.S., and hope that Nebraska will continue to welcome Japanese investment and promote Japanese language education.”


Mr. Sonoura is a member of the Japanese House of Representatives and a former State Minister for Foreign Affairs.  At their meeting, Governor Ricketts and Mr. Sonoura discussed the importance of trade to both countries and the upcoming Midwest U.S.–Japan Association Conference.  More details about the conference and registration can be found by clicking here.


Japan is one of the top five importers of Nebraska products such as beef, pork, and soybeans.  Additionally, Japan is Nebraska’s largest direct international investor with over $4.4 billion in foreign direct investment from Japanese companies since 2010, supporting thousands of jobs.