Miami-Dade County’s Trade Mission to Japan

Consulate General of Japan in Miami

On 2/29, Consul General Kazuhiro Nakai of Japan in Miami was invited by the Miami-Dade Beacon Council to give his briefing on the recent Miami-Dade County’s trade mission to Japan (Nov. 26 to Dec. 6, 2023), its outcome and the outlook of the Japan/Miami-Dade business relationship.

Consulate General of Japan in Miami

After introducing the objectives and outlines of the mission, Consul General Nakai spoke about its rich program and activities, which started with the “Miami Dade Branding Seminar” in the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He said this seminar was very effective in changing the mindset of Tokyo business leaders, which portrays Miami Dade mainly as a popular tourist destination, and in introducing that Miami Dade has the most dynamic and vibrant economy and emerging advanced industries, such as bio/life science, ITC, pharmaceuticals, and aerospace, which produce new business opportunities for Japan.

Consul General Nakai welcomed that the mission had many successful meetings with government officials, and business matchups with Japanese companies and entrepreneurs of a variety of sectors. He said he was pleased that, during the mission, the sister port agreement between PortMiami and the Port of Yokohama was signed, which is instrumental in reminding Tokyo businesses of the importance of Miami Dade as a gateway to LATAM.

He also stated that it was a happy surprise for him to discover the mission was already delivering concrete and important outcomes, such as Sompo Japan, a leading insurance company, opening a branch in Miami, as well as the expansion of operation of Hisamitsu (Noven Pharmaceuticals), a leading Japanese pharmaceutical company, which decided to establish a new manufacturing facility in southern Miami-Dade.

Consul General Nakai recalled the year 2023, which concluded with this mission, as a milestone year for the trade and investment sector between Japan and Florida. He explained that prior to this mission, he was very pleased to assist coordinating the visit of Governor Ron DeSantis (April), Mayor Francis Suarez of the City of Miami (February), and the State of Florida Trade Mission (October), which were all successful in promoting Florida to Japan and contributed to the fruitful Miami Dade trade mission in December. He also introduced that another happy development of 2023 was MUFG, Japan’s largest bank and seventh largest in the world, opening its office in Tampa, Florida.

At the end of the briefing, he touched upon the prospect of a direct flight between Miami and Japan. He said that Mayor Levine Cava met JAL executives during the mission and stated this meeting, as well as a meeting by Governor DeSantis with Chairman Yoshiharu Ueki of JAL and a meeting by Mayor Suarez with JAL’s executives, successfully promoted Miami in JAL’s future plan, keeping Miami clearly on its radar, which is extremely important now to make the direct flight a reality.