Governor Kelly travels to Japan, South Korea to create new job opportunities
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Kansas Governor Laura Kelly traveled this week to Japan and South Korea to create new job opportunities for Kansans.
Officials with the Office of the Governor said Governor Kelly traveled to Japan and South Korea to participate in the Midwest U.S.-Japan Association (MWJA/JMWA) Conference. While there, she met with business leaders to continue building on Kansas’ historic economic development success and create new job opportunities for Kansas workers.
“The relationships we’ve established with Japanese and Korean companies like Panasonic, Marubeni, and CJ CheilJedang have been instrumental in the $17.4 billion in private investments made into the state since I took office,” Governor Kelly said. “By strengthening those relationships and building new ones, we continue spurring economic development success and delivering on our mission to make Kansas the best state to live, work, and raise a family.”
Governor Kelly’s office said she delivered keynote remarks at the MWJA/JMWA conference, and alongside a bipartisan group of Midwest governors, met with U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel to discuss economic development opportunities.
“Governor Kelly’s commitment to strengthening ties with Japan and South Korea is exactly the kind of forward-thinking leadership needed for trilateral cooperation. These partnerships aren’t just about business; they’re about building a brighter future for Kansans,” Ambassador Emanuel said. “When I see a state like Kansas making such significant strides in global economic partnerships, it showcases the importance of collaboration, vision, and innovation.”
Staff with the Office of the Governor indicated Governor Kelly met with Panasonic Energy leadership in Kyoto. In July 2022, she announced Panasonic would be building one of the largest electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturing plants in the U.S. in De Soto. The $4 billion investment is expected to create up to 4,000 new jobs ‚which represents the largest economic development project in Kansas history. Learn more about Panasonic’s investment HERE.
Officials with the Office of the Governor said Governor Kelly toured the Marubeni Corporation headquarters in Tokyo. Marubeni acquired Arkansas City’s Creekstone Farms Premium Beef LLC in 2017. Since then, the company has invested $35 million in facility improvements, including a refrigerated distribution center and 20,000 square-foot child care facility that is now under construction. In 2020, Creekstone Farms was awarded the Governor’s Exporter of the Year Award. Governor Kelly toured the plan in June 2021. Learn more about Creekstone Farms and Marubeni HERE.
According to Governor Kelly’s office, she finished her trip in South Korea, where she visited CJ CheilJedang (CJCJ) headquarters. CJCJ became the parent company of Schwan’s in 2019 and constructed the world’s largest frozen pizza manufacturing plant in Salina, creating 225 new jobs. Its $600 million investment resulted in a new manufacturing plant that opened in May 2023 and a food distribution center that is expected to be completed in early 2025. Learn more about CJCJ’s investment in Schwan’s HERE.
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