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Department of Commerce Under Secretary for International Trade Francisco Sanchez Visits Tokyo

Under Secretary Sanchez addresses the audience at the Peace Through Commerce ceremony

May 16 - The Obama Administration's top official for trade, Department of Commerce Under Secretary for International Trade Francisco Sanchez, wrapped up his visit to the Asia-Pacific with a two-day stop in Tokyo May 15-16.

ACCJ President Larry Bates, Ambassador Roos, Under Secretary Sanchez, and ACCJ Chairman Michael Alfant

As part of the "Trade Winds Asia 2013" mission, Under Secretary Sanchez met with government and private-sector leaders to discuss ways to strengthen the economies of both the United States and Japan through increased trade and investment.

Under Secretary Sanchez noted that Japan and the United States are vital economic partners, and he cited a number of supporting statistics. Japan is America's fourth-largest export market, with U.S. exports to Japan topping $70 billion in 2012. In addition, the total stock of foreign direct investment from Japan to the United States is $290 billion, making Japan the second-largest source of FDI in the United States. This investment helps support nearly 655,000 U.S. jobs and contributes almost $1.1 trillion to the U.S. economy.

The banner for the Peace Through Commerce medal

Also as part of his visit, Under Secretary Sanchez joined Ambassador John V. Roos in presenting the "Peace Through Commerce Medal" to the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) for their efforts to provide material assistance to the Tohoku region and re-establish confidence in Japan among the American and global business communities in the wake of the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.

The Peace Through Commerce Medal recognizes an individual, group, or organization, either domestic or abroad, whose actions have significantly promoted and developed U.S. export initiatives, encouraged innovative approaches, and improved overall U.S. trade relations. It dates back to the first Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, who commissioned the medal in 1790.