Alabama Governor Meets with Japanese Trade Official

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley's first day in Japan included a meeting with a trade official.

A spokesman for the governor said he talked with Hiroyuki Ishige, the chairman and CEO of the Japan External Trade Organization. The group works to promote trade and investment. Bentley gave him a pen crafted from a dogwood tree downed by the April 2011 tornado in Tuscaloosa.

Bentley's work with Japanese business leaders won't end when he returns to Alabama on Friday. A spokesman said the governor will be in Biloxi, Miss., for the annual Southeastern U.S.-Japan Association conference Nov. 17-19.

More than 65 Japanese companies have operations in Alabama, and they represent an investment of more than $4 billion. The companies include Honda, Toyota and Daikin Industries.

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