For Full Story: NBC Miami

Article By: Amanda Plasencia


From imports to exports, the Japan to South Florida connection is strong at Port Miami.

When you think of South Florida, Japan isn’t the first thing to pop in your head— but the influence of Japanese business and technology is strong in the Sunshine State.

Some industry leaders from abroad and locally gathered to talk about the growing impact Tuesday.

“I’m trying to promote the technologies that Japanese companies have and to promote business exchange with local companies,” said Ken Okaniwa, the Japanese consul general in Miami.

Bow after respectful bow, the event was a collaboration between the consulate general of Japan in Miami and Port Miami – showcasing companies like Hitachi, Mitsubishi, NEC and more.

“Our biggest impact here in the state of Florida is obviously the MetroRail and we have enjoyed installing and renewing all of the new trains that are running in the city,” said Hitachi VP of corporate strategy Yushi Akiyama.

The company has supplied 136 trains to the aging system with the rest to be replaced by the end of 2019. Another little known fact: Mitsubishi heavy industries also manufactured the Skyconnect automated people mover at Miami International Airport.

NEC Corporation of America has given cutting edge facial recognition technology to homeland security and theme parks in Orlando.

“We are doing a lot of things to try and have people here visit Japan and also try to get Japanese and Japanese companies visit so we want to have a two way exchange,” said Okaniwa.