NASHVILLE – House Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville), along with members of House leadership, honored on Wednesday Masami Kinefuchi, the Consul-General of Japan. Kinefuchi was appointed on April 1, 2015 and serves in Nashville. He has jurisdiction over five states (Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisana, Mississippi, and Tennessee) where more than 400 Japanese companies are located.
“It was an honor to have Consul-General Kinefuchi with us today on the floor,” said Speaker Harwell. “Tennessee has a special and strong relationship with Japan. Last year, Tennessee exports to Japan reached $1.87 billion. I appreciate the work of Consul-General Kinefuchi, and was proud to honor that work today.”
Only one state in the country—California—has more Japanese companies domiciled there than Tennessee. In 2015, Tennessee imported $7.2 billion worth of goods from Japan. The largest Japanese employers in Tennessee are Denso, Bridgestone, Caslonic, and Yorozu. Since 2011, Japanese-owned firms in Tennessee have committed to 12, 416 jobs and a capital investment over $3.4 billion.
Prior to taking the office of Consul-General, Masami Kinefuchi served as Assistant Vice Minister at the Ministry of Justice in charge of immigration policy. He graduated from the National Defense Academy of Japan in 1981 and received a Master’s Degree of Strategic Studies and International Economics from the School of Advanced International Studies and International Economics at Johns Hopkins University.