Veteran Japan trade representative reaches out to U.S. companies

Veteran Japan trade representative reaches out to U.S. companies

LOUISVILLE, Ky., and TOKYO, Japan  – The former chief trade representative for the Commonwealth of Kentucky is leading a business to help states and cities from across the United States secure investment from Japanese companies seeking to expand into America.

Jiro Hashimoto, who is based in Tokyo, has spent nearly three decades leading Kentucky’s recruiting efforts. He has worked to identify potential Japanese investors, arrange high-level contacts and provide on-going organizational support and strategies. 

“I firmly believe economic development boils down to relationship building, and that is where I can use my 30 years of experience in Japanese investment attraction efforts to help EDOs in America,” said Hashimoto. “Japanese companies looking to expand wish to select the most advantageous sites, and it is our mission to match EDOs with the Japanese companies that can best benefit from their strengths.”

Mozaic President Terry McWilliams said, “Jiro’s track record of success shows that he truly understands the needs of expanding companies, as well as the communities which want to showcase their unique economic and site advantages.”

Hashimoto is most closely linked to Toyota Motor Corporation’s decision to establish its Georgetown assembly plant in the 1980s.  Overall, Jiro has had a hand in bringing to America more than 150 Japanese companies, billions in investment and nearly 40,000 jobs. He is the only foreign national inducted into the Hall of Fame for the Kentucky Association for Economic Development.

The competition for FDI cannot be overstated as American states and communities vie for economic growth. An October 2013 report from the U.S. Commerce Department and the President’s Council of Economic Advisors illustrates the impact:

  • Foreign companies invested more than $166 billion into the U.S. in 2012.
  • Collectively, Japan, Korea, Canada, Australia and seven EU countries account for more than 80 percent of new foreign investment.
  • A large share of FDI goes to U.S. manufacturers – led by pharmaceuticals, petroleum and coal products. The remainder goes to wholesale trade, non-bank holding companies, finance and insurance.
  • In 2011, U.S. affiliates of foreign companies accounted for nearly 16% of American private R&D spending.

Hashimoto attended the inaugural SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington, the inward investment conference staged by the U.S. Department of Commerce. He said the summit demonstrated the importance of carefully developed relationships.  Many entities that do not have on-the-ground representation in Japan could benefit from an affiliation with a company with a Tokyo representative, he said.

A graduate of the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Jiro earned a BA in international relations, and soon joined Sumitomo Corporation, where he worked to supply Japanese steel to primarily North American pipeline projects. 

Prior to founding Mozaic, McWilliams directed a Louisville agency’s IR business. A former newspaper reporter, he earned his MBA from the University of Tennessee and is a journalism graduate from the University of Kentucky.

More information is available about Mozaic IR at  

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Terry McWilliams, President, 502.410.2113,

Jiro Hashimoto, +81 90 2316 7828,


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