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Thoughts from Japan: Day three

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It is my first trip to Asia, and I have found the Japanese people and their culture engaging and welcoming.

Tokyo is large with diverse architecture. Beautiful new buildings are constructed among the back drop of older, incredibly preserved structures.

It is a great walking city. At night, neon lights take over huge billboards and displays similar to New York City come to life. 

We are here to participate in the 51st Midwest US-Japan conference. Observing the business customs and meeting with business leaders here has been a great opportunity for our Seneca County leadership. Engaging on a global scale is critical to the development of future resources, especially jobs. 

Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership President David Zak, Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz, Seneca County Commissioner Mike Kerschner and I have heard five of our Midwest governors, including Ohio’s Mike DeWine, discuss their state’s visions for further global engagement and the potential impact it will have on future job opportunities. Additionally, several Japanese governors and Japanese executives have reiterated their continued goal of increasing business between the United States, specifically the Midwest, and Japan. 

All participants continue to stress similar ideas and goals, including:

Globalization — Further engagement on a global scale is crucial to continued success.

Data — We are a data-driven society and the protected collection of data is critical for companies and consumers to make informed and ethical decisions.

Innovation — Our world will continue to evolve and connectivity will be achieved through digital transformation and environmental sustainability. 

Value — Competition will be driven among consumers as they are able to perceive value among products.

Humanization — Even as technology expands, human touch will continue to drive business, as business is about people. 

The need for skilled, hardworking and dedicated people is as necessary across the globe in Tokyo as it is in Seneca County and the State of Ohio. Human capital cannot be replaced. Good people are the key to executing all of the above goals and bringing our economy into the future. The consensus point here at this conference is that workforce development is the number one objective. Locally, we need to continue to posture our education and training to support these trends and attract new opportunities to our area.

The world is changing rapidly, but we can be ready for the next generation of jobs. This trip is about understanding the needs of global businesses to foster a workforce that is willing and able to tackle global needs as they continue to develop. 

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