COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Gov. Nikki Haley and her husband are attending next week's international trade meeting in Japan as part of an effort to persuade companies to expand or locate in South Carolina.
Haley is among a 40-member delegation of state and local leaders traveling to Tokyo for the 35th annual meeting of the Japan-U.S. Southeast Association, held Sept. 13-15.
Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt said Thursday it is the first time since 2003 that a South Carolina governor attended. The governors of five other Southeastern states are slated to attend.
Hitt says South Carolina stands to benefit from Japanese companies' desire to diversify following last year's earthquake-tsunami crisis. Nearly 150 Japanese-based businesses operate in South Carolina, employing more than 15,000 people.
Haley spokesman Rob Godfrey says Michael Haley will pay his own way.