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 CHICAGO, Feb. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The Consulate General of Japan at Chicago announced the results of its 1992 survey of Japanese businesses in the Midwest on Feb. 4, 1993.
 Conducted in October of last year, the survey identified 1,417 Japanese facilities in the six-state area of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. This represents a 6 percent increase over the previous 12-month total of 1,337 facilities. In 1992, Illinois remained the leader with 650 facilities, followed by Michigan, 312 facilities, and Ohio, 244 facilities. Significantly, the total number of facilities doubled in each of the last two five-year periods.
 The survey brings to light several important trends. First, facility employment continued to increase despite an overall economic slowdown. In 1992, Japanese firms in the Midwest provided 141,930 jobs, compared to some 138,250 jobs the previous year, for a 2.7 percent increase. Moreover, blue collar manufacturing positions, which accounted for nearly 60 percent of the total employment, rose by 1.8 percent.
 Second, the localization of companies continued. As more facilities became fully operational, Americans assumed increased responsibilities. Accordingly, U.S. employment increased by 3 percent last year while the number of Japanese employees declined by 4.6 percent.
 Third, Japanese manufacturers still viewed this region as an attractive production location. By industry type, overall manufacturers spearheaded the investment initiative with 938 facilities, or two-thirds of the total. Commercial trade ranked second with 15 percent while transportation and warehouse was third with 7 percent.
 In overall manufacturing, two sectors accounted for nearly 55 percent of the total. Motor vehicles and parts led with 35 percent followed by electronics with 20 percent. Most importantly, almost half of the overall manufacturers actually produced products in the six-state region. Last year, these facilities increased by 11 percent.
 This six-state area is particularly attractive to Japanese companies due to its central location, excellent transportation network and large consumer market. In addition, with the Midwest's traditional heavy industrial base mirroring that of Japan, this region offers key resources including a highly skilled labor force, available parts and raw materials. In return, Japanese direct investments provide jobs, facilitate technology transfer, introduce new management techniques and furnishing new revenue sources to help boost both state and local economies.
 Commenting on the study, Toshiaki Tanabe, Consul General of Japan at Chicago, stated, "In my opinion, Japanese direct investment in the Midwest has reached a new plateau. The increase in both facility and employee number is significant in view of the present economic situation. Moreover, through the localization process, Americans have now assumed increased responsibilities and the facilities have become more fully integrated into their communities. This will further underscore the importance of the Midwest-Japan cooperative partnership."
 -0- 2/5/93
 /CONTACT: Bill Christensen or Takeshi Yoshida, 312-280-0400, both of the Japan Information Center/

CO: Consulate General of Japan ST: Illinois IN: SU:

AL -- MN009 -- 3652 02/05/93 15:55 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 5, 1993

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