Speakers included Norman Arikawa from the Port of Los Angeles. (LANSCA)

“The Greater Nagoya industry GDP in 2016 was $577 billion,” stated Norman Arikawa, assistant director of trade development for the Port of Los Angeles, during a LANSCA (Los Angeles Nagoya Sister City Affiliation) and City of Nagoya special seminar, “Leisure, Travel, and Business Opportunities in Nagoya and Central Japan,” held at the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce on March 22.

Arikawa, board member of LANSCA, added, “Automotive, aerospace, information technology, bio technology, fine ceramics, and environmental technology are the major sectors for the GDP.”

The event emcee, Jim MacLellan, director of trade development for the Port of Los Angeles, introduced Makio Yamada, chief of the International Relations Division from the City of Nagoya; Teruko Weinberg, LANSCA chairwoman; keynote speakers Arikawa, former Los Angeles Councilmember Tom LaBonge, and Darrell Clausen, director of sales for AsiaLuxe Holidays, who related his “Nagoya Omotenashi Hospitality Experience” as a special guest of Nagoya, having won a trip to that region at last November’s LANSCA and City of Nagoya event.

Arikawa continued, “In 2016, Los Angeles export to Japan totaled over $14 billion, and import into Los Angeles to over $23.5 billion. And for the past 15 years, the Port of Nagoya is Japan’s number one port for cargo volume and boasts the highest export value trade surplus in Japan besides being located at the center of Japan for direct mainland traffic routes.”

Yamada noted Nagoya’s tourism opportunities and its historical importance to Japan with its Atsuta Jingu (Shrine) with over 1,900 years history and three grand feudal lords, Tokugawa Ieyasu (1542-1616), Oda Nobunaga (1534-1582), and Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1537-1598), who each unified Japan.

Yamada highlighted that Nagoya may not be well known as a tourist destination but has many exciting places to visit, including the Nagoya Castle (Hommaru Palace), Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology, Legoland, SCMAGLEV and Railway Park, and Tokugawa Art Museum. He added that Nagoya’s close proximity to Ise-Shima in Mie Prefecture with its bounties from the ocean and Takayama in Gifu Prefecture with its mountain treasures makes Nagoya an ideal location to take in all that this region has to offer.

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