Embassy of Japan
August 25, 2016
On August 24, in Annapolis, Maryland, the Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) on Economic and Trade Relations was signed by Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae and Governor Lawrence J. “Larry” Hogan.
The MOC states that Japan and Maryland intend to further support and coordinate efforts in areas including high-speed rail, liquefied natural gas (LNG), life sciences, trade and investment, and academic cooperation.
Stemming from over 35 years of sister relations between Kanagawa Prefecture and Maryland State, and the cities of Kawasaki and Baltimore, Japan and Maryland maintain a historically deep tradition of both cultural and people-to-people exchange, one of the highlights of which was Governor Hogan’s visit to Japan in June last year. Japan and Maryland have a close economic relationship as well. Utilizing its highly educated human resources, Japanese companies in such areas as life sciences and high-tech industries have advanced into Maryland and are actively doing business. Recent steps have also been taken to promote new inter-regional industry collaboration, as evidenced by the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Kanagawa Prefecture and Maryland State in 2014. Maryland firms have also successfully established businesses in Japan.
Furthermore, Japanese firms, through their local affiliates, have joined the Cove Point LNG Project in Lusby, Maryland, and are aiming to start LNG exports to Japan as early as next year. Regarding the construction project of Superconducting Magnetic Levitation (SCMAGLEV) trains utilizing Japanese technologies, the U.S. Government last year approved funds for the MAGLEV Deployment Program (MDP) to formulate construction sites of the pilot section between Washington, DC and Baltimore, Maryland. Meanwhile, the Government of Japan made a commitment in this fiscal year 2016 to appropriate the cost for feasibility studies for the project. In this way, the two governments will collaborate in carrying out the studies. Since this past January, Maryland has been the first U.S. state with mutual recognition of drivers’ licenses for Japan, which will bring a better environment for the daily lives and businesses of Japanese citizens residing in Maryland.
Considering this background, Japan and Maryland will enrich the partnership and further deepen strong economic and trade relations based on the MOC signed today.
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