Japan

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

There aren’t that many movies staged and shot in Crawfordsville. And probably only a small subset of those involve replica firearms. So when a Crawfordsville police officer encountered what looked like a robbery earlier this week and fired a bullet at an actor carrying an air gun, people began to formulate questions.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jstephenconn/3051019997
J. Stephen Conn

Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton has returned from the state’s economic development trip to Japan, where he visited with executives of two long-time Montgomery County employers.

Barton says city officials have begun trying to get other prospective Japanese investors with whom the mayor had contact to travel to Indiana.

Indiana economic development officials are in Japan this week to bolster relationships with the Hoosier State’s top source of foreign investment.

The Asian nation backs more business in Indiana than in any other state – especially in the automotive sector, at Honda, Toyota, Subaru and their suppliers.

And that investment isn’t just about jobs. Those big Japanese-owned factories are also huge energy consumers. That’s why Gov. Eric Holcomb’s Japan trip includes power company executives, such as Harold Gutzwiller of Hoosier Energy in Bloomington.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

For months, we’ve known a couple things about this summer’s road construction in Greater Lafayette.

One, it was always going to be a hassle.

And secondly, the cities seemed committed to trying to complete major projects while most Purdue students were away for the summer.

But the City of Lafayette now says the closure of the county’s busiest intersection isn’t slated to start until July and will last past the time students and their parents return.

www.kodo.or.jp

Kodo, a professional taiko company, has popularized modern taiko drumming. They performed in Indiana this last month, and are on a 22 U.S. tour through March 25th. WBAA's John Clare spoke with Yosuke Kusa from the group, with assistance from translator and tour manager Yui Kawamoto.

Purdue University is seeing more research funding from its corporate partners, a trend that has officials hoping they can be less reliant on public funding.

Purdue gets about a quarter of its research funding from the private sector. An average of 500 companies chip in every year.

But the school’s corporate and global partnerships officer, Dan Hirleman, says the funds those companies contribute have increased from $37 million in 2013 to as much as $55 million the past few years.

Indiana Business Research Center

 

Japan's largest steel company, Nippon Steel, will spend $50 million and create 70 jobs at a new plant to produce wiring for cars in Shelbyville.

When it opens next year, it'll join an already large Japanese automotive sector in the state -- which houses more Japanese businesses than anywhere else in the country.

 

Japan is also Indiana’s biggest foreign investor, supporting almost 54,000 jobs. Many are in manufacturing.

Subaru of Indiana Automotive

Subaru of Indiana Automotive announced today the Lafayette plant will be increasing its workforce and production by nearly a third -- and adding 1,200 new jobs -- as part of its plan to increase its production output.

SIA is investing $140 million dollars to up production by nearly 100,000 thousand vehicles a year.  SIA currently produces about 300,000 cars each year.

The expansion will take place over the next two years, and most of the jobs will be on the production line.

SIA Vice President Tom Easterday expects the new hires will come from within Indiana: