Conference boosts Illinois-Japan ties



Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner speaks at the Illinois State Fair on Aug. 17, 2016, in Springfield. (Anthony Souffle/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

Gov. Bruce Rauner attended the annual Midwest-U.S. Japan Association Conference in St. Louis on Monday.

The conference brings together government and business leaders from the Midwest and Japan to discuss ways to strengthen the relationship between the region and Asian country.

“There is no greater partnership, no stronger friendship and relationship between the people of Japan and the people of America,” Rauner said. “The success of Japanese businesses in the Midwest is critical to the success of Illinois and we look forward to building upon that to improve our collective economies. Our relationship with Japan has spanned decades and we will continue to foster that strong foundation.”


Nearly 350 Japanese companies have opened more than 1,200 locations in Illinois and employ more than 49,000 people.

The first Midwest-U.S. Japan Association Conference took place in 1967 in Chicago. The association works with the 10 state governments in the Midwest to help market the region as a business environment.

The conference concludes today.

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