On September 12, 2015, Governor Rick Snyder spent a day traveling in Shiga Prefecture. Accompanied by professionals from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), Governor Snyder visited sites of historical, cultural, and economic significance in Michigan’s sister state in Japan.
The trip included a meeting with Shiga Governor Taizo Mikazuki. The two governors discussed the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Michigan-Shiga sister state relationship and the 30th anniversary of JCMU, which will be celebrated in 2018. They also reminisced about their meeting this past June, when they participated in the opening of the Richard and Helen DeVos Japanese Garden at the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids.
One of the major highlights of Governor Snyder’s visit was a stop at the Japan Center for Michigan Universities (JCMU), a living-learning facility in the city of Hikone where students from the U.S. and Japan come together for language and cultural studies. Snyder toured the Center, then spoke to a group of more than 40 American and Japanese students about the value of international education. Snyder commended the students on their participation in JCMU’s cross-cultural educational programs, noting that they are building the foundation of a brighter future.
During the opening ceremony of the 2015 Japan-Midwest U.S. Association Conference in Tokyo, Snyder commented that JCMU is “a unique asset within Japan, and a unique asset for America.”