Toshikazu “Tony” Suzuki, a former executive for a Japanese firm who has spent decades working in Indiana, on Thursday was named the director of the state's economic development office in Japan.
Suzuki brings more than 40 years of executive and senior management experience working in both Japan and the United States, including first-hand expertise promoting and executing Japanese direct investment projects in Indiana, state officials said.
“[Suzuki] knows what Japanese business executives are looking for in Indiana because he has been in their shoes, leading a major Japanese company’s decision to locate here earlier in his career,” said Indiana Secretary of Commerce Victor Smith.
Suzuki, whose new duties are effective immediately, replaces Yasuhiko Kano, who is retiring at the end of June after representing the state in Japan since 2010.
A graduate of Sophia University in Tokyo, Suzuki joined Marubeni Corp., one of Japan’s largest trading houses, in 1974 and became Marubeni’s representative in Indianapolis in 1986, spearheading the company’s construction projects in Goshen.
Following his 28-year-career at Marubeni, Suzuki served as executive vice president at Precision Tools Service in Columbus, where he oversaw a joint venture with Toyo Corp. in tools, parts and equipment distribution.
In addition, Suzuki has held various executive positions at Lotte, a multinational food and shopping conglomerate with headquarters in Japan and South Korea. He most recently oversaw facilities management and digital marketing at Toho Chofu Sports Park in Tokyo.
Indiana’s Japan office has played an integral role in attracting new investment from the island nation, according to state officials. Since 2005, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. has secured projects with nearly 90 Japan-based companies.