Gov. Rick Snyder addressed the 2017 Midwest U.S.- Japan Association conference in Tokyo on Sunday, promoting Michigan as the preeminent automotive business location in North America, and pointing to the state’s range of global autonomous-vehicle initiatives collectively known as PlanetM.
“The Midwest U.S.-Japan Association represents the type of international cooperation that makes truly successful economic progress possible,” Snyder said. “While the Midwest states are competitors in the race to attract business investment, we also are working together to create a 21st century economy that benefits the people of Japan and the United States.”
Snyder was among the featured speakers at the annual gathering, which is held in alternative years in Japan and the Midwest. Other speakers included Yuzaburo Mogi (Japan Conference Chair), Gordon Dobie (U.S. Honorary Conference Chair), Honorable Mitsuhiro Wada (Consul General of Japan in Detroit), officials from the prefectures of Shiga, Chiba, and Saitama, and governors from Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. The governors also met with U.S. Ambassador to Japan Bill Hagerty.
Amid a time of great transformation in the global automotive industry, Snyder pointed to one certainty: the future is mobility, and people must embrace the many implications of new autonomous-vehicle technologies on manufacturing.
“Connected and automated vehicle technology – including connected infrastructure – will revolutionize the transportation of people and goods in the next five to 10 years,” Snyder said. “When you come to Michigan, you are in the center of the vehicle transportation revolution. Whether you are a company in the automotive industry, a researcher or an entrepreneur, Michigan is the place to be.”
Snyder travels to Germany today where he will attend the Frankfurt Motor Show, and will return to Michigan on Thursday. This was his fourth trip to Japan and his sixth trip to Germany since he took office. The repeated visits have significantly improved government and business relationships for Michigan around the world.