April 09, 1999

Lila White
(804) 692-3110

Michitaka Kitamura
Japan External Trade Organization
(212) 819-7747
Jill Lawrence
(804) 371-0049
Governor Gilmore Announces Virginia's New Japanese Trade Advisor
--Koji Deguchi named to senior post by Governor Gilmore and the Japan External Trade Organization--

Richmond - Governor Jim Gilmore and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) today announced the appointment of Mr. Koji Deguchi as JETRO’s Richmond-based senior trade advisor for Virginia. Mr. Deguchi will be hosted by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership during his year term of service to Virginia businesses.

"Japan is Virginia’s second largest export market," Governor Gilmore said. "Mr. Deguchi’s expansive trade experience will expand the bridge between Virginia and Japan by helping Virginia companies increase their exports."

Mr. Deguchi is one of 22 seasoned business people from Japan’s private sector posted by JETRO at state and regional economic development agencies throughout the U.S. The senior trade advisor’s mission is to seek out and assist Virginia companies that have products and services with the potential for export to Japan or that are looking to invest directly in Japan. Since the program’s implementation in 1990, it has helped hundreds of small- and medium-size U.S. businesses identify and realize new business opportunities in the Japanese market.

Among the Virginia companies aided by Mr. Deguchi’s predecessors include Kresics (exercise videos, apparel and accessories), LC Technologies (computer-related products), Katec (industrial cylinders) and Vatell Corp. (high temperature heat sensors).

Mr. Deguchi entered Nissho Iwai Corporation, one of Japan’s largest trading companies, in 1971, after receiving his bachelor’s degree in economics from Aoyama Gakuin University. During his more than 25 years at Nissho Iwai, Mr. Deguchi held a number of senior level positions in the International Planning & Administration Department in India and Bangladesh. He also spent more than six years in the United States, holding senior positions for Nissho Iwai in Washington, D.C.

"The Japanese market is large with affluent and educated consumers. The first step is doing adequate market research, determining whether a company’s products or services offer competitive price and quality for the Japanese market." Mr. Deguchi said. "JETRO’s free consultation services can be particularly helpful in determining the prospects of a product in the Japanese market and in establishing an initial export strategy."

"The Virginia Strategy, Governor Gilmore’s strategic plan for economic development, identifies the promotion of Virginia exports as a key to continued economic achievement," Secretary of Commerce and Trade Barry E. DuVal added. "The markets in Japan will aid existing Virginia businesses and create opportunities for all Virginians."

JETRO is a Japanese government-supported organization dedicated to promoting mutually beneficial and economic relations between Japan and other nations. JETRO maintains seven offices in the U.S. and nearly 80 overseas offices in 56 countries. Each JETRO office is a comprehensive information center on U.S.-Japan business and economic relations and offers a variety of services and activities, including export promotion in Japan, U.S.-Japan industrial cooperation, promotion of two-way investment and technology exchange.

Virginia will be the host site for the 2000 Southeast-U.S. Japan Economic Conference.



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