Pence departs on 9-day trade mission to Japan
The ASSOCIATED PRESS September 5, 2013 12:50PM
Gov. Mike Pence
Updated: October 7, 2013 1:13PM
INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Mike Pence left Thursday on his first overseas trade mission as governor, taking along more than 40 political and business leaders to Japan, but the mayor of Evansville stayed behind to deal with local issues.
The trade delegation flew out of Indianapolis for a nine-day trip through Tokyo, Nagoya and Tochigi Prefecture, Indiana’s Japanese sister state. First lady Karen Pence and daughter Charlotte are joining officials from the Indiana Economic Development Corp. on the trip. Local development leaders and business owners, consultants and lawyers round out the delegation.
The cost of the trip is being paid for by private donations to the Indiana Economic Development Foundation.
“Japan is Indiana’s largest foreign direct investor and there is immense opportunity to fortify relationships with Japanese companies and secure even more jobs for Hoosiers,” Pence said in a statement.
Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke said, however, he would have to stay behind. Winnecke told the Evansville Courier & Press Wednesday that ongoing discussions regarding the city’s downtown convention hotel project are the main reason he’s staying home. A City Council vote on the project’s public financing is scheduled for Monday.
Winnecke’s decision leaves the mayors of the small cities of Logansport and Elwood as the only other elected officials joining Pence on the trip.
Pence plans to attend the Japan-U.S. Midwest Conference and meet with government and business leaders, including executives from Japanese companies with Indiana operations. The delegation plans to meet with leaders of Honda, Toyota, Fuji and other manufacturers doing business in the state. They will also meet with leaders from Mitsui mining, Sony and Mitsubishi.