Gov. Rick Snyder wants to convince Japanese companies with ties to the auto industry that Michigan would be an ideal place for them to continue investing and growing.
Snyder and a delegation from Michigan met with automaker Toyota, and auto suppliers DENSO and the Aisin Group, as part of his trade and investment trip to Japan. He used the meetings to talk up Michigan's growing workforce and the state's economic comeback.
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"Many companies, particularly in the auto industry, are already looking at Michigan as a place to come," Snyder told The Associated Press Friday evening in a telephone interview from Japan.
"Many of these companies have a high awareness of Michigan and have seen the positive steps over the past four or five years to create a good businesses environment."
Each of the companies he met with in Japan has ties to Michigan.
Toyota has campuses in Ann Arbor and York Township. DENSO's North American headquarters is in Southfield. The Aisin Group's Technical Center of America headquarters is in Northville.
They are among 330 companies in Michigan, according to Snyder's office.
Between January 2011 and June 2015, Japanese foreign direct investment into Michigan accounted for 35 new projects. The total capital investment topped $1 billion and more than 2,700 jobs were created.
Toyota accounted for a dozen projects in the state between 2003 and 2014.
"It's a global marketplace," Snyder said. "The Japanese companies are continuing to grow and we should be very proud of the Japanese business community we have in Michigan."
Snyder next heads to Germany where he will attend Frankfurt's 66th annual auto show next week. He returns to Michigan Thursday.
He spent time last month on a similar trade mission to China.