INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Governor Mike Pence is on his way to Japan on his first foreign trade mission. He is leading a delegation of 40 on the 10 day excursion.
Mayors, business leaders, and economic development professionals are on the trip and so is First Lady Karen Pence.
The Republican governor is going to Japan to meet with executives from companies that include Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi, and Subaru.
"I thought it was important to go to Japan first," said Pence. "Japan is our most important bi-lateral partner."
It's about keeping jobs and, just maybe, competing with other states to attract new ones.
"I love to put the facts down on the table," said Commerce Secretary Victor Smith, "cause we always look good when you do that."
Also on the trip is Jim Shellinger. He ran for governor as a Democrat in 2008.
"It's bi-partisan," he said. "It's good for jobs in Indiana and I don't think there's a Democrat or a Republican in the state that wouldn't argue that jobs is number one."
As they depart, the governor is trying to keep expectations low. In a 24-Hour News 8 interview, he said it's about maintaining relationships.
"The first objective for me in this trip," he said, "is just to get acquainted with the senior leadership of the Japanese companies, large and small, that employ more than 45,000 people in Indiana every day."
Former governor Mitch Daniels was in the habit of making annual trips to Asian countries and visited Japan several times and professionals in the Indiana Economic Development Corporation learned much that they can share with the new governor.
"But I did call my predecessor yesterday," said Pence, "and we spent a goodly amount of time on the phone and I got some good counsel."
The trip is timed so that Governor Pence can take part in next week's Midwest US-Japan Association Conference.
The governor's daughter Charlotte is also going along on this trip. The family is paying her expenses. She's been to Japan before. For her dad, it's a new experience.
A winter weather advisory was issued for Wayne, Union, Switzerland, Ripley, Ohio, Franklin, Fayette and Dearborn counties on Saturday night.
IMPD officials say a 3-year-old boy has died after he was shot in the head Saturday evening.
Lawrence Police are investigating an overnight shooting in the 8800 block of Pendleton Pike. Police say the shooting happened around 3 a.m. Sunday morning.