Established in 1823, the City of St. Marys in Ohio is known as a leader in business development in Northwest Ohio. Its relationship with the Japanese city of Awaji started in the 1970’s, when the first wave of Japanese companies set up operations in the area and employed around 1,000 locals.
“We always had a good relationship with Japan and their industries,” said Mayor Patrick McGowan. “There is a sizable investment from the Japanese into the city, which is mutually beneficial to both partners. The city itself has a very sophisticated, highly educated and well-trained workforce, but we want to increase the number of our workers.”
Apart from three big Japanese firms, Tachi-S, Muro Corp. and Hitachi Metals, the city hopes to attract Japanese small and medium enterprises and boost economic growth. The mayor has expressed his commitment to invest further in utilities infrastructure to rebuild a microgrid that connects all of the city’s major industries.
“We can guarantee that in comparison to our competitors, our electrical grid will offer superior reliability at a competitive price. We are sitting on one of North America’s finest water resources,” explained McGowan, referring to the investment opportunity of building a new water plant in the near future.
“We do appreciate the relationship and respect the Japanese tremendously for their investment into our community. We are always looking forward to growing with them,” the mayor said.