City commissioners Tuesday voted to send Lawrence Mayor Bob Walters and City Manager Mike Wildgen to Japan in November to foster Japanese business interest in Lawrence.
In response to an invitation from Laura Nicholl, Kansas' secretary of commerce, Walters and Wildgen will join the Kansas Department of Commerce in a trade mission to Tokyo.
While in the country, the two plan to attend the Industrial Fair from Nov. 15 to Nov. 17 in Hiratsuka, Lawrence's sister city in Japan.
Wildgen said he did not know how much the trip would cost the city. He said the state would not be sharing the cost of the Lawrence officials' trip.
Walters met last month with Bob Hitchner, Kansas' trade representative in Tokyo, who was in Kansas to meet with community and business leaders to discuss how to market the state to the Japanese.
Walters said that, according to Hitchner, several Japanese pharmaceutical firms had a "more than casual" interest in Lawrence because of research being done at Kansas University's Higuchi Bioscience Centers.
Commissioner Bob Schulte said, "This is an excellent opportunity for us. It's important to recruit Japanese business investment. It means more jobs for Lawrence."
Commissioner Shirley Martin-Smith said the letter from Nicholl indicated that the trip would offer a lot of potential business for Lawrence and Kansas. She said it was important for Lawrence officials to personally recruit business investment.