FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Gov. Steve Beshear is following in the
footsteps of his predecessors as he spends this week in Japan
meeting with business executives.
Former Govs. Brereton Jones, Paul Patton and Ernie Fletcher made
similar trips, hoping to lure Japanese companies to do business
with Kentucky, either by making investments in plants in the
commonwealth or buying Kentucky products. Japan ranks first in
foreign investment in Kentucky.
Although Beshear has said the state faces a financial crisis,
officials have defended overseas economic recruiting trips as
paying dividends by attracting investment and creating jobs.
On Wednesday, Beshear and his wife, Jane, spoke with Hitachi
Automotive Products Chairman Taiji Hasegawa and corporate
executives of Yamamoto Seisakusho Co. Ltd. at a reception in Tokyo.
Governors have traditionally visited Japan in May or June, after
the legislative session is adjourned. Fletcher visited Japan in
June 2004, May 2005 and June 2007.
Patton visited Japan eight times during his two terms as
governor and twice as lieutenant governor.