Virtual Roundtable Discussion with LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and Japan Business Community

On September 17th, the Consulate General of Japan, the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Los Angeles office, and US affiliates of Japanese companies in southern California participated in an online roundtable with the Mayor of Los Angeles.  Joining the roundtable discussion were Consul General MUTO Akira; the Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti; Deputy Mayor of Los Angeles, Nina Hachigian; President of the WTCLA (World Trade Center Los Angeles), Stephen Cheung;  MITSUMORI Yuichi, President of the Japanese Business Association of Southern California (JBA), etc.  Also joining this direct dialog with Mayor Garcetti were representatives from 11 Japanese companies who discussed their current activities in fields such as pharmaceuticals, hydrogen technology, aviation, infrastructure, and rail transportation; as well as the prospects for future collaboration with Japan affiliated firms going forward.

Even though operating under pandemic conditions, it was noted that Japanese companies are optimistic about their US operations, and that Japanese companies create 86,000 jobs in the southern California region, and 40,000 in the County of Los Angeles alone.  These facts, as well as Japan’s long-term positive presence as the largest foreign investor nation in the region, in addition to the recent contributions in PPE made by Japanese companies to support City of Los Angeles’ COVID-19 response efforts, were all noted and appreciated by Mayor Garcetti.  The discussion also highlighted areas of possible collaboration between Los Angeles and Japan, such as supporting the role of hydrogen in environmental policy, with the Mayor indicating that Japan and California both share a strong tradition of leadership in innovation, future collaboration is natural and should be encouraged, and that the Mayor wished to cooperate with Japan in building a Hydrogen society.
Consul General of Japan MUTO Akira   Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti