TOKYO, JAPAN — Governor Phil Murphy and Fukui Prefecture Lieutenant Governor Mr. Yasuhiro Nakamura announced Monday the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that expands a partnership between New Jersey and Fukui Prefecture, Japan.
The agreement, signed by Governor Murphy and Lieutenant Governor Nakamura during the Choose New Jersey governor-led economic mission to East Asia, promotes continued cooperation in the areas of education, culture, and the economy.
“This Memorandum of Understanding speaks to the fact that there has never been a better moment to invest in the future of New Jersey’s relationship with Japan,” Murphy said. “As we face a new century of challenges and opportunities, we have a historic opportunity to take our partnership to new heights. And I believe there is no better partner for Japan than New Jersey.”
The partnership between New Jersey and Fukui Prefecture spans more than three decades, having been established as a friendship agreement in 1990. The MOU signed today is an expansion that promotes economic exchange, including trade, business matching, and corporate advancement. It also establishes opportunities for cultural and academic exchanges and the promotion of tourism to each region.
“We are very pleased to confirm with Governor Murphy our mutual intention to strengthen the bonds of friendship between our two prefectures,” said Sugimoto Tatsuji, Governor of Fukui Prefecture. From March 2024, it will be possible to come to Fukui Prefecture from Tokyo by Shinkansen bullet train without having to change trains. I hope that this will be an opportunity for many people from both prefectures to come and go between each other’s regions and for exchange to become more active.”
“New Jersey and Japan share a strong bilateral relationship reflected in their highly skilled talent pools, renowned university networks, and dedication to innovating the world,” said New Jersey Economic Development Authority Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “The commitment today by Governor Murphy, Governor Sugimoto and Lieutenant Governor Nakamura to expand New Jersey’s 30-year partnership with Fukui Prefecture will build on the shared strengths of both geographies and create new, mutually beneficial opportunities to grow our economies.”
“Leaders across New Jersey understand the value of international exchange programs and efforts to stimulate economic growth across borders,” said Wesley Mathews, President and CEO of Choose New Jersey. “This foundational agreement is important for our continued partnership with Fukui Prefecture.”
The initial agreement signed in 1990 was based on the friendship between Kusakabe Taro and William Elliot Griffis at Rutgers College more than 100 years prior. Taro was the first Japanese student to enroll at Rutgers in the 1860s, and Griffis, his friend and tutor, helped work to advance the relationship between the United States and Japan. In addition to the statewide partnership with Fukui Prefecture, Fukui City has a sister-city relationship with The City of New Brunswick.