Pence leaves for Japan on week-long jobs mission

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has left for Japan on a week-long trade mission.

The Republican governor departed Friday morning from Indianapolis International Airport following a ceremony commemorating the 14th anniversary of the Sept.11 terrorist attacks. The ceremony was to feature an honor guard and a performance by the Ben Davis High School choir.

The trip to Japan is Pence's seventh jobs mission. Pence will attempt to lure new business to the state and will meet with officials from automakers Honda, Toyota, Mitsubishi and Subaru.

The governor will be joined by first lady Karen Pence and a delegation of about 40 public officials and business leaders. The trip is being financed with donations to the fundraising wing of the Indiana Economic Development Corp.

The trip has drawn criticism from some watchdog groups because most of the donations to fund it came from large corporations. Supporters say the trade missions bring much-needed foreign investment to Indiana, and using donations to fund them saves taxpayers money.

An itinerary for the trip and list of the members in the delegation can be found here.

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