Intersect Illinois recently helped welcome the newly appointed Japanese Ambassador to the United States to Illinois on a visit that focused on advancing the state’s business partnerships with Japan. His Excellency Shinsuke J. Sugiyama, Ambassador of Japan to the United States, joined the Honorable Naoki Ito, Consul-General of and Japan in Chicago and Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) on their Grassroots Caravan, a program that highlights the contributions of Japanese companies to local economies.
The group toured local companies to see the latest manufacturing innovations and learn more about Illinois’ workforce. More than 630 Japanese companies operate within Illinois, employing nearly 47,000 people. The visit reinforced the benefits of foreign direct investment, while showcasing Illinois as a premier location for Japanese companies to grow.
The delegation’s first stop was Sunstar, a Japanese company with its North American headquarters in Schaumburg, where it manufactures 190 million toothbrushes and softpicks. Next, the group toured Amada America’s industry-leading 133,000-square-foot manufacturing facility, where the company showcased the latest advances in automation. The group continued on to Harper College’s manufacturing health careers facilities. The final stop was at PM Mold Company, a global plastics manufacturer based in Schaumburg.
Governor Bruce Rauner welcomed the Ambassador and group, along with a delegation of state and local officials. Intersect Illinois played a key role in coordinating the visit, in conjunction with the Consulate-General of Japan in Chicago, Illinois Department of Commerce, Illinois Manufacturers Association, Japan Chamber of Commerce, JETRO, and Schaumburg Business Association.