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  • Georgia-Japan relations date back to the beginning of US-Japan relations in 1853 as the Adjutant General of Georgia, John McIntosh Kell was part of Commodore Matthew Perry’s first US trade expedition to Japan;

  • Cultural ties with Japan began in 1912 when Japan gave thousands of cherry trees to the U.S., including Macon, now home to the largest population of cherry trees in North America;

  • Governor Carl Sanders helped establish a Sister State/Prefecture relationship in 1966 between Georgia and Kagoshima;

  • In 1973, thanks to the efforts of Governor Jimmy Carter, the State of Georgia opened its Trade and Tourism Office in Tokyo;

  • In 1974, Japan established a Consulate General of Japan in Atlanta to oversee 5 Southeastern States (AL, GA, NC, SC, and VA - now oversees 4 states with VA being part of the Embassy of Japan's region);

  • In 1976, Governor George Busbee helped Georgia become a charter member of the Southeastern United States (SEUS) Japan Alliance (SEUS-Japan promotes trade, investment, understanding and friendship between Japan and the Southeast (AL, FL, GA, MS, NC, SC, and TN).



The JASG commends the creation of the Georgia-Japan Legislative Caucus whose mission is to  support efforts within the Georgia General Assembly to sustain and enhance the deep economic and cultural relationship between the country of Japan and the state of Georgia. The Georgia-Japan Legislative Caucus is an official caucus of state legislators who value the long history between Georgia and Japan. It is open to all legislators, but particularly those who have Japanese-owned companies in their districts, represent Georgia-Japan sister cities, and/or generally support proven foreign direct investment in the state.



Official relations between Japan and the state of Georgia were first inaugurated in 1973 with the establishment of a Georgia State Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism office in Tokyo. The opening of the Consulate General of Japan in Atlanta in April 1974 offered a major boost in bilateral political relations. In 1991, Prime Minister Toshihiki Kaifu visited Atlanta. The visit of the Emperor and Empress to Atlanta in June 1994 was a crowning touch to these developing political ties. Political relations, economic development, and personal contacts are renewed and reinforced every year by Georgia state government officials at the Annual Joint Meeting of the Japan U.S. Southeast Association. The Japanese Government also sponsored a visit of two Georgia state legislators to Japan in late November-early December 1995, and through the GEN-J program, a group of over 20 state senators/representatives in 2019.

Georgia shares a Sister State/Prefecture relationship with Kagoshima. There are 11 Sister City relationships between Georgia and Japan: Elberton-Mure, Americus-Miyoshi, Gainesville-Izunokuni, Atlanta-Fukuoka, LaGrange-Aso, Augusta-Takarazuka, Macon-Kurobe, Savannah-Shimizu, Columbus-Kiryu, Rome-Kumamoto, Dublin-Osaki. Georgia and Japan also share 1 Sister Port relationship between Savannah and Shimizu.


Georgia is regarded as the center of Japanese industry in the U.S. Southeast. Japanese-affiliated companies have invested $10.4 billion in Georgia, where 547 Japanese-affiliated companies currently operate. These companies together employ nearly 37,000 Georgian workers. Some major Japanese firms in Georgia include Kubota, Murata, Panasonic, Ricoh, TOTO, Toyo Tire, Yamaha, and YKK. In 2015, Georgia's imports from Japan amounted to $4.61 billion, making Japan the 5th largest international importer, and Georgia's exports to Japan amounted to $1.37 billion, making Japan the 6th largest export market. Over 50 Georgia companies have operations in Japan including Aflac, Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines, NCR, Newell Rubbermaid, and UPS).

The Japan-America Society of Georgia, Inc.

is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote

mutual understanding between the people of Japan and the state of Georgia 

Phone: 404-842-1400    Email:

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