Former Trine exchange students meet Holcomb

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UTSUNOMIYA, JAPAN (09/20/2017) Two Japanese exchange students who spent the last school year at Trine University got to briefly meet with Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb on Sept. 9 while he was on a trade mission to Japan.

Mahoko Kuki and Yoshikazu Sakai are students at Utsunomiya University in Tochigi Prefecture, Indiana's sister state. Holcomb and a delegation from Indiana met with Tochigi Prefecture Governor Tomikazu Fukuda along with government officials, business associations and Japanese company executives.

"We just talked about wonderful experiences we had at Trine," said Kuki.

Indiana and Tochigi have had an economic and cultural partnership since 1999. Tochigi Prefecture supports one of Indiana-based Cummins' global operations and is also home to the headquarters of Fukai Mfg. Co., Ltd., which established manufacturing operations in Jamestown, Indiana, in 2014.

"Japan is Indiana's largest foreign direct investor, and I look forward to working with Japan and Japanese companies to take this mutually beneficial relationship to the next level," Holcomb said.

The partnership also allows Trine to offer a summer study abroad program each June with Hakuoh University in Tochigi.

Following the meeting, Gov. Holcomb and Gov. Fukuda engaged in a basketball free-throw contest and visited Nikko Toshogu - a world heritage site and resting place of one of Japan's most famous Shoguns, Iieyasu Tokugawa - to learn more about the history and culture of Tochigi Prefecture.

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Trine University, an internationally recognized, private, co-educational, residential institution, offers associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in the Allen School of Engineering & Technology, Ketner School of Business, College of Graduate and Professional Studies, Franks School of Education, Jannen School of Arts & Sciences and Rinker-Ross School of Health Sciences. Trine is a member of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association and offers 23 varsity sports. Its golf program includes the university-owned 18-hole championship Zollner Golf Course. Founded in 1884 and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (, Trine operates a 450-acre main campus in Angola, Indiana, and education resource centers throughout Indiana and Michigan.