Miller & Martin Hosts Luncheon Georgia and Japan: The Next 50 Years

In June, Miller & Martin hosted a lunch with the Consulate General of Japan, Global Atlanta and others to discuss a recent Grassroots Exchange Network trip.

The first Japanese company arrived in Georgia nearly 50 years ago, touching off a journey of shared prosperity and ever-deepening community engagement. As a result, there are more than 600 Japanese firms creating 37,000+ Georgia jobs, along with better access to Japan’s market for homegrown companies like Coca-Cola, Aflac and Delta. However, recent bilateral trade tensions have tested these foundations and raised questions about the future trajectory of a once-assured alliance.

Underwritten by the Japan Foundation, Georgia business, government and economic development leaders traveled to Japan in May to meet with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, JETRO, business associations, and companies across Japan with major investments in the South. This trip coincided with a state visit by U.S. President Donald Trump, who became the first foreign leader to be received newly enthroned Reiwa Emperor. It also preceded the G20 Summit set to be held in Osaka that month.

The luncheon included an interactive Q&A and brainstorming session with the audience to determine next steps to reinvigorate Georgia-Japan ties with the next half-century in view.

The speakers included:

Introductory remarks:

Takashi Shinozuka, Consul General of Japan to four states in the Southeast

Participant discussion:

-Trevor Williams, Managing Editor, Global Atlanta

-Al Hodge, founder of Hodge Consulting Services and Vice Chair of the Japan America Society of Georgia

-Blaine Williams, Manager of the Unified Government of Athens-Clarke County