TOKYO, Japan. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis met with Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi of Japan to discuss the growing business relationship between Japan and Florida. The Governor was joined by First Lady Casey DeSantis, Florida Secretary of State Cord Byrd and Florida Secretary of Commerce Laura DiBella. Following the meeting, the Governor, First Lady and other members of the Florida delegation attended a formal state dinner.

All pictures may be used courtesy of the Office of the Governor. 


“I was glad to meet with Foreign Minister Hayashi and speak about Florida and Japan’s shared business interests,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “The First Lady and I were honored to break bread with the Foreign Minister and his team and celebrate the growing relationship between Florida and Japan.”

“It was an honor to meet with Foreign Minister Hayashi in Japan.  Meaningful cultural relationships like the one between Florida and Japan are important,” said Secretary of State Cord Byrd.  “These relationships help to bring together citizens from both countries, help to foster goodwill and appreciation for both societies, and lead to business opportunities.”

To read the press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, click here.

Florida and Japan’s Economic Relationship

Florida serves as a convenient base for Japanese companies wishing to expand into the Southeastern US and into the Latin America and Caribbean region. Japan is the 6th largest foreign investor in Florida, with more than 200 Japanese companies employing more than 22,000 Floridians with holdings totaling more than $5.2 billion. Bilateral trade between Florida and Japan exceeds $6.6 billion annually, making it Florida’s 2nd largest bilateral merchandise trade partner in the Asia-Pacific region and Florida’s 7th largest partner overall.

In 2022, Japan imported approximately $636 million in goods from Florida seaports and airports. Automobiles and related products account for almost 81% of all exports from Japan to Florida, with the Port of Jacksonville consistently serving as one of the top three ports for unloading Japanese vehicles for the United States. Additionally, auto parts from Japan are shipped through Florida’s distribution centers to part centers throughout the United States.



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