Colorado Gov. Jared Polis wrapped up a five-day trade mission to Japan in March, during which he met with potential investors keen on developing the booming aerospace and green technology sectors, and further strengthening the technology sector of the state, whose 6th largest trading partner is Japan.
Leading a delegation made up of 23 members of the Global Business Development Division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and Trade (OEDIT), the governor held high-level meetings in Tokyo and Osaka. This particular trade mission was particularly symbolic as it happened on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the first direct flight between Denver and Tokyo.
The Japan America Society of Colorado, which marked its 34th anniversary this year, has been at the forefront of cultivating this rich relationship through business, education, and culture.
“We're a very program-heavy organization, and we are a membership organization. So really our goal is bringing people together who have shared experiences with Japan,” Japan America Society of Colorado Executive Director Claudine Locascio said.
“Sometimes that's the business community, sometimes that's our education community. We work all the way through college, and sometimes it's purely cultural experiences that we can help share in the community,” Locascio also said.
Although Colorado is known more as a beer brewing state, a different drink, one with intrinsically Japanese ties is making fans in the state. Colorado Sake Company has taken advantage of the state’s pristine water, said to be perfect for fermentation and the secret ingredient behind Colorado’s robust beer industry, to introduce America to sake.
“Japanese people love what we're doing. Even sake reps from Japan love what we're doing because it's just promoting sake in America,” said William Stuart, proprietor of the Colorado Sake Company.