Office cultivates partnerships with Asian companies, works to locate or expand business within state
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 22, 2013) — The Cabinet for Economic Development has named Hiraku Tamura as its next representative in Japan.
The Tokyo native last served as president of Metal One Office Corp., a Japanese logistics service company, and has nearly four decades of experience in the field of international business.
“We welcome Hiraku Tamura and the wealth of knowledge he brings to the table,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “We have every confidence that he will excel in this position as Kentucky’s top recruiter of Asian business and investment, which is a vital role in continuing to strengthen our economy.”
Kentucky has grown into an attractive business destination worldwide, with nearly 100 foreign companies locating facilities in the commonwealth over the past decade.
In 2012, nearly 35 percent of all capital investment and almost 20 percent of new jobs announced in the manufacturing, service and technology sector were a result of foreign-owned companies.
In addition to an economic development office in Japan, Kentucky also maintains an office in Hamburg, Germany, which works to cultivate new and existing relationships with European-based companies.
“I am extremely excited to embrace this new opportunity to help Kentucky continue on a successful path,” Tamura said. “There are strong relationships in place between Kentucky and Japanese businesses, and we hope to build even more partnerships with companies across Asia.”
Tamura replaces Jiro Hashimoto, who announced his retirement in June, ending 28 years as Kentucky’s representative in Japan. During his tenure, more than 150 Japanese companies located in Kentucky, resulting in the current employment of more than 38,000 Kentuckians.
“Hiraku Tamura’s resume speaks for itself,” said Larry Hayes, secretary of the Cabinet for Economic Development. “We evaluated several candidates and worked very hard to find the right fit for Kentucky – someone who was familiar with international business and already had an established knowledge of business operations in Asia. We believe we found that exact person, and we’re fortunate to be able to have someone of his caliber on the ground in Asia, making the types of personal connections we need to succeed in attracting these companies to do business in Kentucky.”
Tamura recently served three years as president of Metal One Office Corp., a subsidiary of Metal One Corp., in Tokyo, where he had been a general manager for nearly four years before becoming president.
He helped lead the company into a top global trader of steel products. Tamura spent more than 30 years working in high-level positions for Mitsubishi Corp. and Metal One Corp., including marketing, sales, and new business creation for domestic and overseas markets. His international experience includes work in Singapore, Peru and the United States.