Illinois REALTORS® is helping promote the state at the Midwest U.S.-Japan Association. Pictured  here are REALTOR® Ayumi Deloney, Illinois REALTORS® CEO Gary L. Clayton, President-elect Ed Neaves, Illinois Deputy Gov. Dan Hynes and association Deputy CEO Jeffrey T. Baker.

Illinois REALTORS® is helping market the state overseas this week, as a delegation joins state economic development officials in Tokyo, Japan.

For the past three years, the state association has attended the Midwest U.S.-Japan Association Conference, which alternates meetings between Japan and the U.S. each year.

The event helps highlight business opportunities in the Midwest, and Illinois REALTORS®’ participation aids state officials in telling the story of why investment here makes sense.

The meetings are important for a state which has many companies with Japanese ties from airlines to agricultural products to manufacturing. Japanese firms have more than 1,000 operations in Illinois, which employ some 46,000 people, according to state economic officials.

The conference concludes today.

Attending the conference are Japanese and U.S. governors or their representatives. Representing Illinois was Deputy Gov. Dan Hynes, who stepped in when Gov. J.B. Pritzker pulled out because of a broken leg.

Illinois has worked over the years to help the state communicate foreign investment opportunities in Illinois. It has sent a delegation to the MIPIM real estate conference in France for the past five years, and it recently awarded stipends for REALTORS® to attend Expo REAL in Munich this fall.

Illinois REALTORS® President-elect Ed Neaves has said boosting economic development in the state is a priority for the association.