Upon her arivel in Tokoyo Indiana Lt. Governor Sue Ellsperman met with Initial meetings USDA Foreign Agricultural Services (FAS) and Agricultural Trade Offices (ATO) at the Embassy of the United States. While meeting with FAS and ATO, the Lt. Governor and her delegation learned about ways to improve foreign market access for Indiana agriculture, forestry and fishery products, as well as ways to improve the competitive position of U.S. agriculture in the global market. After visiting the U.S. Embassy, the Lt. Governor met with senior government officials from the Japan Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), including Parliamentary Secretary Yasuhiro Ozato.
MAFF is a part of the Japanese Prime Minister’s Cabinet and is responsible for oversight of the agriculture, forestry, and fishing industries. MAFF’s primary function is to set quality standards for food products, monitor commodity markets, food production and sales, and land reclamation/ improvement projects.
A portion of the delegation participated in a meeting with officials from the Mitsubishi Corporation – the investment and trading division of Mitsubishi Group. A subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation, the Mitsubishi International Corporation (MIC) is a major investor in the Indiana Packers Corporation (IPC). IPC processes pork and bacon for the U.S., Japan, and Mexican markets and employs over 1,600 employees. In April 2014, IPC expanded in Frankfort, Indiana and will add warehousing and additional pork processing to its operations.
The final meeting of the day was with the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO). JETRO is a government-related organization that works to promote mutual trade and investment between Japan and the rest of the world. JETRO-Chicago has been very supportive of Indiana, including a large role at the 2010 State Fair “Bridges to Japan” project when Japan was the State Fair’s Country exhibition.