May 17, 2017

Japan honors Daniels with prestigious Order of the Rising Sun

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The Government of Japan on Thursday (May 18) will celebrate the conferral of the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, upon Purdue President Mitch Daniels during a ceremony at the Embassy of Japan in Washington, D.C.

The award, among Japan’s highest honors, is given “in recognition of his significant contributions to the strengthening of economic relations and mutual understanding between Japan and the United States.” Daniels will receive the award from Ambassador of Japan Kenichiro Sasae and Mrs. Sasae.

According to the office of the consulate-general of Japan in Chicago, during his time as governor of Indiana, Daniels championed the state’s business partnership with Japan, welcoming 70 new Japanese direct investments and company expansions and creating thousands of new jobs. Indiana is now home to 280 Japanese companies that provide 58,000 high-skilled, high-paying jobs.

As president of Purdue, Daniels continues to support efforts toward additional partnerships. Purdue's Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships has reported record Japanese-sponsored research awards of nearly $1.8 million in 2016-17 and a total over the past four years of nearly $5 million, including multiple joint research projects with Sumitomo Chemical Co.

“My prior business years of exposure to the Japanese people and their great entrepreneurship convinced me that they could play a central role in Indiana’s economic comeback,” Daniels said. “The mutual prosperity and friendship that flowed from our efforts were one of the great joys of my years in public office.”


Highlights during Daniels’ longtime connection with Japan, which began during more than 20 business trips during his years as an officer of Eli Lilly and Co., include:

  • As governor, Daniels led five economic development missions to Japan (2005, 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010), meeting with more than 70 companies and hosting 11 receptions.
  • From 2006 through 2012, Indiana led the United States in Japanese investment as more than 60 Japan-based companies invested more than $2.6 billion in Indiana, creating at least 8,400 jobs. Companies include Subaru, Honda, Toyota, Aisin, KYB, Keihin, NTN, Nachi, Sony, Itochu, Mitsubishi and NSK.
  • In 2006, Honda chose to locate its assembly plant in Greensburg; it was the biggest greenfield investment in the United States that year. The plant, Honda’s fourth in the U.S., created more than 2,000 jobs and represented a $550 million investment to assemble the Civic model. Today, Honda Manufacturing of Indiana boasts more than 2,400 jobs, $620 million in investments, and in 2016 the company added the CR-V model to the existing Civic line. In addition, Honda added a new training center for its associates.
  • In 2006, Subaru of Indiana (SIA) expanded in Lafayette, a $200 million investment and addition of 1,000 jobs.
  • Toyota Manufacturing of Indiana (TMMI) in 2012 added a $131 million investment and 420 new jobs.
  • In 2005, Daniels received the title of Shogun in Tochigi Prefecture (state) at the Nikko Toshogu, a traditional Shinto religious shrine.
  • As governor, Daniels established an Indiana driver’s license exam that is available in Japanese and established the “Bridges to Japan” exhibition on Japanese culture and technology at the 2010 Indiana State Fair.
  • Daniels visited Indiana’s sister state, Tochigi Prefecture, twice (2005 and 2009) and hosted Tochigi Gov. Fukuda in Indiana (2011); in 2009, he joined Fukuda at Tochigi Central Park to plant a tulip tree, Indiana’s state tree, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the sister-state relationship; and in 2011, he hosted Fukuda and planted a horse nut tree, Tochigi’s tree, on the Indiana Statehouse lawn.

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