Lincoln, Nebraska, – Ikuo Kabashima, University of Nebraska–Lincoln alumnus and governor of Japan’s Kumamoto Prefecture, will speak Sept. 7 at a forum of the university’s Clayton Yeutter Institute of International Trade and Finance. He will address the impact of a changing trade environment on prefectures and states.
The keynote address will be at 1:30 p.m. in the Nebraska East Union. The event is free and open to the public.
Kabashima will discuss his efforts to promote international trade in Kumamoto Prefecture. He will also speak about his response to the earthquakes in Kumamoto in 2016 and describe how he drew upon his experiences in the United States, especially in Nebraska, to implement smart-agriculture systems and measures against bird flu. Following his remarks, he will participate in a panel discussion with Ralph Inforzato, chief executive director of the Japan External Trade Organization, on trade, investment and agriculture.
Japan is Nebraska’s fourth-largest international trading partner and the world’s No. 1 importer of Nebraska beef, pork and eggs.
Kabashima has been governor of Kumamoto Prefecture since 2008. As governor, he led the development of Kumamon, a promotional mascot that has driven product sales and gained popularity in Japan and beyond. Prior to his political career, he was a professor of law at the University of Tokyo. He holds a bachelor’s degree in animal science and a master’s degree in agricultural economics from Nebraska, along with a doctorate in political economy and government from Harvard University.
“Gov. Kabashima’s leadership of Kumamoto Prefecture in the areas of agriculture and export promotion, among others, provides an excellent foundation for dialogue about agriculture and trade with one of Nebraska’s key trading partners,” said Yeutter Institute Director Jill O’Donnell. “We look forward to welcoming students, faculty and members of the public to this event.”