The Japanese ambassador to the United Statessays there are opportunities for expanded trade with North Dakota.
Ichiro Fujisaki visited Bismarck and Grand Forks. He met with Gov. Jack Dalrymple in Bismarck, and the two leaders talked trade. Fujisaki says there are enhanced trade opportunities with North Dakota– and one area could be liquefied natural gas.
"I think it takes a while to do that," Fujisaki told Bismarck reporters. "The US has never exported oil and gas to Japan. I can not say that we will, but it is a possibility."
Since the 2011 tsunami, Japan's nuclear power industry has been virtually shut down, and half the country's power needs come from liquefied natural gas.
"Whether it goes out as LNG, or somehow converted into other products Asia wants to buy, eventually that will become our opportunity," said Dalrymple. "That will become the marketplace we will look at."
Both Fujisaki and Dalrmple said Japan and North Dakota already have a trade relationship, mostly through agriculture products. And they say that will expand.
While in Grand Forks, Fujisaki spoke at the University of North Dakota, and met with Japanese students who are being trained as pilots at UND.