Gov. Ricketts Concludes Successful Trade Mission to Japan

Media Contacts:

Alex Reuss, 402-471-1970

Media Statement:

Gov. concludes. Ricketts Successful Trade Mission to Japan

Tokyo, Japan – This week, Governor Ricketts completed his fourth successful trade mission to Japan. Delegates on the mission included representatives from Nebraska businesses, state commodity organizations, the Nebraska Farm Bureau, the Department of Agriculture (NDA), and the Department of Economic Development (DED).

On Tuesday, the trade delegation met with the United States Meat Export Federation (USMEF) to discuss opportunities to expand Nebraska beef and pork exports to Japan. Japan is Nebraska’s largest pork market and the 2nd largest market for beef, with annual sales increasing by $215 million, an 88% increase, since 2015.

During the week, the delegation met with various trade organizations, business partners, and government officials to discuss opportunities for increasing Nebraska exports to Japan.

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Many of the representatives in the delegation are also farmers and ranchers, which enabled Japanese companies to hear directly from Nebraskans who supply their beef, pork, wheat and corn to Japan through Nebraska exporters. This included Ivan Rush, Director of the Nebraska Beef Council; Shana Beattie, Past President of the Nebraska Pork Producers Association; Mark Knobel, Chairman of the Nebraska Wheat Board; and Mark McHargue, Nebraska Farm Bureau President.

Conversations also highlighted Nebraska’s progress in ethanol-like carbon sequestration and adoption of higher ethanol blends—for leaders in Tokyo.

The Governor and industry experts, including Jan tenBensel, Chairman of the Nebraska Ethanol Board, also spoke with Japanese government officials about the solutions that Nebraska ethanol offers as Japan seeks to provide a cheaper, cleaner fuel for vehicle travel and air. This included meetings with leaders at the US Embassy in Japan, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

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In addition, Gov. Ricketts and the delegation with members of the Japanese business and trade communities represented by Keidanren, also known as the Japan Business Federation, and the Japan External Trade Organization. Both groups are valued partners with the Nebraska Department of Economic Development.

During the week, the delegation spoke with several companies that are investing in Nebraska to thank them for their partnership and discuss growth opportunities. That included meeting with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which has invested in Monolith Materials, a Lincoln-based manufacturer at the forefront of commercial-scale, emission-free hydrogen production. It also included Nippon Steel, which launched Captain Beef, a successful premium beef brand sourced exclusively from Nebraska packers; Toho Cinemas, a large theater chain whose popcorn comes from Preferred Popcorn in Chapman; and Prima Ham, a food manufacturer that buys pork from Wholestone Farms in Fremont.

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Additional information about the trade mission, including Japan’s trade profile, can be found here.

Photos from the trade mission can be found here.


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