This week, in partnership with Sister Cities International and the Koyamada International Foundation, the City of San Antonio hosted the Japan-Texas Leadership Symposium at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. The event presented discussions throughout the day on investment and cultural diplomacy and included a keynote by Second Lady of the United States Karen Pence.
San Antonio welcomed Japanese business leaders, government officials, and representatives of Sister Cities International from around the world.
Jenna Saucedo-Herrera, President & CEO of San Antonio Economic Development Foundation, and Leo Gomez, President and CEO of Brooks, joined the morning panel discussing why the cultural similarities between Japan and Texas drive the economic investment. 2019 Chamber Chair Paula Gold-Williams and Jim Perschbach, CEOs of CPS Energy and Port San Antonio, respectively, followed with a conversation on trade and investment in San Antonio. Last year, Nissei Plastic Industrial Co. opened its first plant in the U.S. at Brooks with a $20 million investment, along with the headquarters of its first U.S. subsidiary, Nissei Plastic Machinery America. Toyota opened a plant in 2006, employing 3,200 people on the south side of San Antonio and donating $45 million to various programs and organizations throughout the community.
Mayor Nirenberg is current chair of Sister Cities International, a national initiative created by Dwight D. Eisenhower to develop economic, cultural and technical exchanges between U.S. cities, counties, and states with corresponding communities worldwide. The goal of the Sister Cities program is to involve people and organized groups at all levels of society, establishing productive people-to-people relationships through global community partnerships and volunteer action. Kumamoto, Japan is one of San Antonio’s eleven sister cities worldwide, which was established in 1987.