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Illinois Lt. Gov. to lead delegation to Japan

Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton
Illinois Lt. Gov. Office
Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton

Illinois Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton will lead and represent Illinois at the 53rd Annual Joint Meeting of the Midwest U.S. – Japan and Japan-Midwest U.S. Associations Conference in Tokyo from September 10-12.

According to her office, she will be joining governors and economic development leaders from the Midwest and governors and corporate executives from Japan.

The Lieutenant Governor’s first international delegation to Tokyo will focus on strengthening economic cooperation between Illinois and Japan and promote Illinois as a leader in corporate recruitment, retention and expansion through Illinois Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Programming throughout the delegation will tap into sustainability and innovation.

”I often say that Lieutenant Governor Stratton is the best Lieutenant Governor in the world—and now the global stage will have a chance to see just how true that is,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “This delegation is another stage in our successful work towards attracting international business to Illinois, and I’m confident that the Lieutenant Governor will be an excellent advocate for our state and the many economic opportunities it offers.”

“Illinois truly is in the middle of everything, as the best place to live, work, and do business. Over the next several days, I am excited to meet with Japanese leaders and Governors throughout the Midwest to share what makes Illinois a world-class leader in business, innovation, and sustainability,” said Stratton.

“Our state has the largest and most productive labor force in the Midwest, who have driven our growing green economy and put us on the cutting-edge of manufacturing, technology, and emerging industries. This is only a glimpse of why Illinois is the perfect place for international trade partners like Japan to do business. I’m looking forward to further cultivating the robust, long-standing relationship between Illinois and Japan.”

“Japan is one of Illinois’ largest trading and FDI partners and our enduring partnership has yielded significant economic benefits,” said DCEO Director Kristin Richards. “We look forward to strengthening our longstanding relationships while building new connections.”

The Midwest U.S.-Japan Conference is comprised of ten member states including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio and Wisconsin. Illinois is a founding member state of the Association, a longstanding partner with Japan, and is home to more Japanese companies than any other state in the Midwest—employing over 42,000 people at 1,020 locations.

The bilateral trade between Japan and Illinois totaled more than $11 billion in 2022, with Illinois exports to Japan exceeding more than $2 billion.

Annual meetings alternate between Japan and one of the ten U.S. member-states. Last year, Illinois hosted the annual meeting for the first time since its first-ever conference in 1967.

Leaders joining the Illinois delegation include:

  • Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton
  • Teresa Reyes, Office of the Lieutenant Governor, Deputy Chief of Staff and Chief Operating Officer
  • Janelle Gurnsey, Office of the Lieutenant Governor, Deputy Chief of Staff for External Affairs & Communication
  • Teresa Ramos, Office of the Governor, First Assistant to the Deputy Governor of Education
  • Kate Lindgren, Office of the Governor, Senior Assistant to the Deputy Governor of Budget and Economy
  • Karen Sheley, Office of the Governor, Deputy General Counsel
  • Kristin Richards, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), Director
  • Margo Markopoulos, DCEO, Director of Trade and Investment
  • Lisa Clemmons Stott, DCEO, Electric Mobility and Innovation Director
  • Motoshi Yamada, DCEO Tokyo Office, Managing Director
  • Miho Jinoshi, DCEO Tokyo Office, Associate
  • Ginta Rubin, DCEO, FDI Manager
  • State of Illinois Partner Organizations:
  • Dan Seals, Chief Executive Officer, Intersect Illinois
  • Tommy Choi, Illinois Realtors, 2024 President-Elect
  • Matthew Silver, Illinois Realtors, President 2024
  • Ayumi DeLoney, Illinois Realtors, Residential Broker
  • Gordy Hulten, Illinois Manufacturer’s Association, Chief Operating Officer
  • Abby Powell, Springfield Sangamon Growth Alliance, Director of Business Development
  • Shelley Tulo, Springfield Sangamon Growth Alliance, Director of Marketing and Communications
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