Idaho Falls’ sister city relationship with Tokai-Mura, Japan, led to the opening of a Sakae Casting business office March 17 in Idaho Falls. The company is exploring relationships with the Idaho National Laboratory, the University of Idaho and the nuclear and advanced manufacturing sectors.
Sakae Casting opened with four employees. The company, based in Tokyo, specializes in castings for inserting stainless steel pipes into an aluminum casting product necessary for optimal performance of semi-conductors and super computers.
Sakae CEO Takashi Suzuki first visited Idaho Falls in March 2016 on a sister city visit with other business executives.
Another Japanese company, Ohzen Precision Machining Cutting, has its name on the same door as Sakae in Idaho Falls. It’s still in the process of establishing a limited liability corporation in Idaho, said Jan Rogers, CEO at Regional Economic Development for Eastern Idaho, the public-private economic development partnership for several cities and counties in eastern Idaho.
“They are saying there are a number of companies behind them,” Rogers said. “I’m hoping this is the beginning of a Japanese cluster in Idaho Falls.”
When Suzuki made his first visit, Rogers suggested he attend the U.S. Department of Commerce’s SelectUSA Summit in Washington, D.C., last summer to get a better understanding of investment opportunities in the U.S. Rogers reunited with Suzuki at SelectUSA, which works with economic development teams to attract business investment from foreign companies.
“I think we were able to show them the potential for their company in the region with all the research, science and advanced manufacturing,” Rogers said.
REDI also collaborated with the Idaho Department of Commerce to land Sakae Casting.