Houston Mayor Annise Parker paid her first visit to Japan as the head of the Greater Houston Partnership (GHP) Trade and Investment Mission from October 1 to 4. strengthening the business relationship between Houston and Japan.
On October 1, Mayor Parker visited Chiba city, Houston’s sister city, and joined the welcome ceremony at the city hall where she was presented Special Honorary Citizen Award from Chiba Mayor Toshihito Kumagaya. The both mayors also signed the agreement to reaffirm the sister city agreement.
On October 2, Mayor Parker visited the Japan Business Federation Hall and met with Vice Chairman Kunio Ishihara. They exchanged their views on major industries and business environment of Houston. Also, Mayor Parker met with Parliamentary Secretary of Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry Yoshihiro Seki on October 3 and expressed her intention to further strengthen the business relationship between Houston and Japan.
On October 4, she took a trip on board the Shinkansen, the Japanese high speed railway lines. Japan Central Railway is currently involved in the Texas High Speed Railway Plan between Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth. Mayor Parker celebrated the 50th anniversary of the inauguration of the Tokaido Shinkansen Line bullet train service and expressed her hope for the introduction of high speed railway in Houston.
Mayor Parker also visited the headquarters of Japanese companies which have been operating in Houston, Mitsui Co. & Ltd, Toshiba Corporation and Hitachi, Ltd. in order to strengthen business ties with them. In the evening of October 3, Japan Central Railway and Texas Central Railway hosted farewell reception, where a number of representatives of Japanese companies exchanged with the mission.