Gov. Ricketts to visit Japan to accept award

Published: Nov. 5, 2022 at 10:41 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) - Gov. Pete Ricketts will travel to Japan to accept the Order of the Rising Sun Award.

Ricketts says he is traveling to Japan early next week to accept the award during a ceremony at the Imperial Palace on Nov. 9.

The Order of the Rising Sun Award is Japan’s oldest national decoration, dating back to 1875. The award is given to people who have “displayed especially meritorious service in building mutually beneficial ties with Japan.”

“Nebraska has a long-established friendship with Japan,” Ricketts said. “I have appreciated the hospitality, kindness, and partnership of Japanese leaders during my time as Governor. Working together, we’ve been able to grow our relationship both through trade and cultural exchange.”

Ricketts has led three trade missions to Japan in the past - in 2015, 2017 and 2019. He says the goal of the trips is to promote Nebraska’s agricultural products and to encourage Japanese companies to invest in Nebraska.

Japan is the largest international investor in Nebraska. Japanese companies in Nebraska account for nearly 6,500 jobs.

According to Ricketts, in 2021 more than $1.4 billion in products and services were exported to Japan. Also in 2021, Japan was Nebraska’s top international market for pork and eggs, as well as the second most for beef, the third most for corn and the fourth most for soybeans.