For Immediate Release - December 11, 2013

GOVERNOR PATRICK MEETS WITH PRIME MINISTER OF JAPAN SHINZO ABE

Governor Patrick meets with Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe in Tokyo. (Photo: Bonnie McGilpin / Governor’s Office)

TOKYO - Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - Governor Deval Patrick today met with the Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe to discuss the potential for continued collaboration between Massachusetts and Japan and new ways to strengthen the economic and cultural relationship between the two entities. Governor Patrick was joined in the meeting by U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy.

Prime Minister Abe has been in office since December 2012. He previously served as the Prime Minister of Japan from 2006-2007. Abe is the President of the Liberal Democratic Party and is the country’s first prime minister to have been born after World War II and its youngest since the war.

In 2012, Japan had the world’s third largest gross domestic product (GDP) and was the third largest export partner to Massachusetts, with the Commonwealth exporting approximately $2 billion worth of goods and services to Japan. In 2012, Japan was also the Commonwealth’s 7th largest import partner, with Massachusetts importing approximately $926.21 million worth of Japanese goods and services. According to the Japanese Consulate, over 130 Japanese companies support over 10,000 jobs in Massachusetts and approximately 13,000 Japanese nationals make their home in the Commonwealth. Last year, Governor Patrick and the Massachusetts Port Authority announced the first non-stop flight linking Boston and Japan via Japan Airlines (JAL), which the Governor flew to Japan. Since the commencement of service, the flight has grown in popularity and continues to deepen the connections between the Commonwealth and Japan.

From December 7-17, 2013, Governor Patrick is leading a coalition of the Commonwealth’s government and industry leaders on the Massachusetts – Asia Innovation Partnership Mission to strengthen the state’s partnerships with Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore, and expand opportunities between the Commonwealth and region for economic development and job creation in the innovation, life sciences, financial services, clean tech and transportation sectors.

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