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Rauner brings Japanese Consul General to southern Illinois

Wednesday, Nov 29, 2017 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Press release…

Gov. Bruce Rauner traveled today with the Japanese Consul General for the Midwest to meet with key educational and manufacturing leaders in southern Illinois, where the state’s business ties with Japan are paying dividends in jobs.

Today’s schedule included a tour of the Aisin Manufacturing campus in Marion. The company’s footprint has grown from one plant to three since the Japanese firm’s first Illinois groundbreaking in fall 2001.

“Aisin — an esteemed, world-class auto supplier — is among the many examples of Illinois’ strong relationship with Japanese investors,” Rauner said while touring with Consul General Naoki Ito. “We have over 630 Japanese companies at 1,206 locations, employing more than 44,000 Illinoisans.”

“Aisin is very pleased to support the Japan Consulate-Midwest visit to our plant and honored that Gov. Rauner was able to attend,” said Glenn Edwards, executive vice president of Aisin Manufacturing in Marion, where a combined 2,500-plus are employed at the three Aisin Group plants. “This type of interaction and activity is key to a positive, long-term business relationship.”

Before the tour, business, government and educational leaders gathered for a working luncheon at Rend Lake College, a community college in Ina. New Southern Illinois University System Chancellor Carlo Montemagno, Rend Lake College President Terry Wilkerson, state Sen. Paul Schimpf, R-Waterloo, and state Rep. Terri Bryant, R-Murphysboro, were among attendees.

Boosting coordination between colleges, universities and manufacturers to ensure a well-prepared, well-educated workforce is among the Rauner administration’s signature goals.

Jonathon Hallberg, executive director of the Jefferson County Development Corp., said Marion and other southern Illinois communities have benefited greatly from the Illinois-Japan connection, which dates back more than 140 years.

“Illinois has tremendous locational advantages for companies, with major cost advantages in the downstate area in particular,” Hallberg said. “I think that is why you have seen sustained investment by companies like Aisin, the Koito Group, and German-owned firms like Continental Tire the Americas LLC in our area. These international partnerships are the backbone of our local economy.”

Rauner said Japanese companies have driven economic development throughout the state. In smaller communities like Shelbyville, Lawrenceville, Marion and Mattoon, they form the foundation for robust economic development, he added.

Mark Peterson, president and CEO of Intersect Illinois, said Wednesday’s activities were a great follow-up to the governor’s fall trade mission to Japan.

“We are delighted that Consul General Ito is visiting southern Illinois to see the depth of the Illinois-Japan relationship,” Peterson said. “This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the strength of Illinois’ manufacturing sector, workforce and partnership with academia to meet the needs of business.”


  1. - Undiscovered country - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 3:40 pm:

    -Boosting coordination between colleges, universities and manufacturers to ensure a well-prepared, well-educated workforce is among the Rauner administration’s signature goals-

    Said the man who nearly starved all but two University’s into extinction

  2. - Torda - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 3:53 pm:

    So how much is this going to cost us in EDGE grants and Enterprise Zone giveaways?

    You guys realize that the hundreds of millions necessary to “attract” these companies is revenue
    We are giving up
    This will certainly push Rauners total EDGE amount to
    Over a billion
    That’s money that should have gone into our coffers
    For jobs numbering in the hundreds
    Oh and EDGE has never been independently audited
    We literally don’t know if we got what we were promised
    Even the Tribune hates the edge program
    Google the article

  3. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 3:57 pm:

    Bruce Rauner wants one of the SIU campuses closed, wants EIU closed.

    The rest is a pathetic attempt to “seem” engaged.

  4. - illini - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 3:59 pm:

    ==== the Illinois-Japan connection, which dates back more than 140 years. ====

    Is this a typo or do I simply not know my Southern Illinois history?

    If I am mistaken - will someone please document for me.

  5. - Skeptic - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 4:17 pm:

    “Because the Midwest was remote from western ports of entry and offered few work opportunities not found in the West, it attracted few Japanese in the early years of their immigration. No Midwestern state had even 500 Japanese in 1940; Chicago with 390, was the largest urban area of concentration.” — The American Midwest: An Interpretive Encyclopedia pp. 253-254

  6. - illini - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 4:25 pm:

    Thank you, @Skeptic.

    Guess the BTIA does not proofread their releases - but even 40 years would be a stretch.

  7. - Torda - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 5:00 pm:

    A little checking
    I found 2 EDGE agreements with Aisin
    2012 they don’t post the amount. A violation of Tax Expenditures Act 93-552
    2015 497,100 for 25 jobs
    Plus other incentives for 40,000 and 250,000
    Total 787,100
    Not coming into our coffers
    Then add whatever the 2012 edge was
    Don’t forget Enterprise Zones
    They don’t pay utility taxes
    Thus Marion’s utility rates go up
    Thanks Aisin

  8. - illini - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 5:08 pm:

    Let’s look at these numbers a little closer -

    630 Japanese owned companies in Illinois is good. That would put the average number of state residents employed at just under 70 per company and if we take that further it is less than 36 per location.

    I know of Japanese restaurants that employ more than 36 people.

    What is the basis for making this statement? On the face of it things look good but when you start looking at the numbers I have to wonder what they are based on and what the criteria is for a Japanese owned business is.

    Maybe IntersectIllinois can clarify. Certainly Aisin has to be the exception to the rule, but if not who are the other 629 companies?

  9. - walker - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 5:18 pm:

    Very good use of the Governor’s time.

  10. - Huh? - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 5:45 pm:

    I thought the State was broken, anti-business, because Madigan.

  11. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 6:35 pm:

    Good press opportunity for Schimpf and Bryant, and a good showing all around by the governor. This is the stuff he should spend more of his time doing, try to get his numbers back up.

  12. - Torn A New One - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 6:48 pm:

    Thank You Torda.

  13. - Torda - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 6:56 pm:

    FYI- all the information I cited is on the DCEO public website. They did bury it deep though.

  14. - Torda - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 7:01 pm:

    My point is that fiscal conservatives should be losing their minds over what Rauner is doing.
    It’s a scam. A totally unaccountable scam. Dems are bad about this too. The difference is that DCEO isn’t doing the deals.
    Non FOIA Intersect Illinois is
    For Profit Business.
    You can’t set it up by EO.
    I’m sure Madigan has pocketed this bit
    to spring on Rauner at the right moment.
    He already put together a commission to study it.
    Does Madigan ever do something for no reason?
    It’s a Trap, as Admiral Ackbar says

  15. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 8:01 pm:

    Couple things.

    140 years is most certainly a typo. 40 makes more sense and would roughly coincide with the trade trips made by Gov. Thompson.

    And “Torda” (new handle?) your posts are so full of mistakes I can’t even correct them all in a post. I’ll give you one; don’t worry about EDGE spending “going over a billion” since no new projects were announced today. It was a site visit.

  16. - Anon221 - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 6:00 am:

    That 140 may still be a typo, but they might be basing the century plus on this-

  17. - Anon221 - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 8:11 am:

    Economic reports from the Consulate-General of Japan in Chicago-

  18. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 8:33 am:

    The politician who personally paid thousands into the campaigns of neighboring GOP governors, to then ask that they appear on a television ad bashing his political foe - is now using our tax dollars to do a campaign tour with foreign businesspeople.

    Rauner raised our taxes to pay for his political campaign and to pay for abortions.

    Two-Face Rauner, one a wanna-be elected face and the other a wanna-be ruining your life face. Both of his two faces needs to go ASAP.

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