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Japan and Florida have maintained strong and mutually beneficial economic relationships for a long time. Through trade, scientific research investment, and cultural exchange, the people of Japan and Florida have been striving for many years to understand different cultures and strengthen relationships.
With a population of 22 million (third largest in the United States), Florida’s economy is home to a large number of Japanese companies. These Japanese companies have found Florida to be a convenient base for expanding into the southeastern United States and into the Latin America and Caribbean region, where more than 500 million people live. These economic connections are built on state-of-the-art communication network infrastructure and low communication costs.
It’s not surprising that many Japanese companies find the benefits of doing business in the state, due to the huge regional economic power of Florida and the convenience of transportation that facilitates business operations throughout the United States. Japan ranks sixth in foreign investment in Florida, accounting for nearly 7 percent of total foreign investment employment.
Investment in the Florida economy from Japan covers various fields, including production facilities and industrial plants, R & D institutions, distribution wholesalers, travel and tourism, logistics transportation, financial services, and other representative offices and branches of each company. Leading companies in each sector (for example, electronics, medical devices, biotechnology, optics, and consumer goods companies) have Florida as their base of operations in the North American and Latin American markets. It also serves as a management base for affiliated companies in the Western Hemisphere.
Read more about foreign direct investment in Florida here.
Dun & Bradstreet reports that there are 140 Japanese-owned companies with 1,272 branch locations in Florida. These Japanese companies employ close to 21,900 Floridians across a range of industries, including manufacturing, technology and electronics. Based on employment, Japan ranks sixth among sources of foreign direct investment into Florida.
In 2019, Florida’s exports to Japan were $605.8 million, making it the state’s 26th largest export market. Top merchandise exports included aircraft, vaccines, chemical wood pulp and optical fibers. Imports from Japan were $7.1 billion in 2019, making it Florida’s second-largest source for merchandise imports, and included vehicles, turbines, pens and watches.
Florida has a Sister-State Agreement with Wakayama Prefecture, as well as 10 Sister-City partnerships with Fujisawa, Gero, Imabari, Kagoshima, Kami, Miyazu, Nagano, Takamatsu, Urayasu and Moerenuma Park in Sapporo City. There are officially registered Saturday Japanese schools located in Miami and Orlando, primarily for elementary and junior high school level, as well as a number of Japanese language classes and clubs.
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