Japan-America Society of Georgia
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
“Dublin Represented in Georgia Delegation to Japan”
ATLANTA, GEORGIA: March 8, 2019 – Dublin has been selected by the Japan-America Society of Georgia (JASG) as one of four cities in the state to participate in the society’s inaugural GEN-J Community & Business Trip to Japan. The other cities are Americus, Athens, and Savannah. City leaders were selected for the all-expenses paid trip with a focus of expanding Japan-America relations across Georgia beyond metropolitan Atlanta. According to Charles Coney, JASG Board Member, “The GEN-J Invitation Program provides an opportunity to visit Japan for community and business leaders in the Middle West and South region of the United States. Through the program, the Japan Foundation hopes that the participants will develop a network with the Japanese business leaders and gain a deeper understanding about Japan and Japanese companies.”
Dublin has a rich international Sister City relationship with Osaki, Japan affirmed by periodic exchanges that began more than 20 years ago. Mayor Phil Best Sr. was elected to serve the Citizens of Dublin in November of 1999. Since his election, he has chaired on the Economic Development Committee, President of the Georgia Municipal Associations 13th District, and been appointed to the Governor’s board of work force initiative. Phil has also served on Laurens County Board of Health, GMEBS Board of Trustees, and the Military Affairs Committee in Warner Robins, and on GMA’s Board of Directors until June of 1997. Some of his other past service includes: Directorships of the Dublin Rotary Club, the Dublin-Laurens County Chamber of Commerce, and the Dublin Country Club. He is a Licensed Broker in the State of Georgia and in the Qualifying Broker for Premier Properties of Dublin, a family owned firm. Phil’s main goal is to continue the progressive attitude of the councils before him and to be a part of the continued growth of Dublin by helping to create a pro business attitude in our small business, industry, and downtown communities. Best is also the Georgia Municipal Association First Vice President and will be installed as the organization’s President at the June 2019 Annual Meeting. Best will be joining other government leaders including Savannah Mayor Pro Tem Carolyn Bell, Americus City Council Member Daryl Dowdell, Savannah Councilman Julian Miller, and Athens-Clarke County Manager Blaine Williams. JASG Vice President Al Hodge will also be accompanying the delegation.
“The itinerary is a robust one affording meetings in Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto prefectures, Aichi and Mie prefectures, and Fukuoka and Yamaguchi prefectures with Japanese companies, Daikin Industries, Denso Corporation, Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metal Corporation,” offers JASG Executive Director Yoshi Domoto. “We [JASG] have a unique and important part to play as the state's foremost bridge between Japan and Georgia, between Japanese visitors and Georgia's citizens, between Georgia's corporations and Japanese markets, and between Japanese and American families in Georgia.”
The Georgia Delegation’s trip to Japan is quite timely as the 45th anniversary of the opening of the Japan‘s Consulate General in Atlanta was celebrated just last month hosted by Consul General Takashi Shinozuka at his residence. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, senior executives from nine of Japan’s largest companies operating in the state, local city, county and state officials, representatives of Georgia’s U.S. senators, and long-term Japan supporters participated in the event, which ended with the governor and consul general planting a cherry tree as a symbol of the friendship (which originated in February 1974) binding Japan to the state. In a Global Atlanta article, Consul General stated, “It was the time of Governor Jimmy Carter. Since then, the state of Georgia, the Georgia General Assembly, and the local communities across Georgia have always helped the Japanese community and Japanese companies along this journey.” While Japan now has 1,200-1,300 Japanese affiliated companies in the consulate’s Southeast district including North and South Carolina, Alabama and Georgia, he added that “half of them are in Georgia.” He also recognized Georgia for having nearly half of the 21-22,000 Japanese citizens living the Southeast. Underscoring the cultural intimacy of Georgia-Japan relations, last year boasted more than 20,000 attendees at the annual JapanFest, the largest Japanese cultural festival in the Southeast. Additionally, more than 32,000 tourists from Japan visited Georgia last year.
With 41 years of cooperation between seven Southeastern states and Japan alternatively hosting the Southeast U.S./Japan Association (SEUS)-Japan meetings, Georgia is readying for the 42nd such meeting to be held in Savannah this coming October. This prestigious gathering of global business leaders celebrates longstanding economic and cultural ties and offers delegates from Japan unparalleled opportunities to meet key contacts and leverage international opportunities. Georgia is regarded as the center of Japanese industry in the Southeastern United States. Japanese-affiliated companies have invested over $10.4 billion in Georgia, where 547 Japanese-affiliated companies currently operate. Together, these companies employ nearly 37,000 workers state-wide.
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