Debra Tsuchiyama Baker was selected to participate in a Grassroots Exchange Network-Japan (GEN-J) Program for US community and business leaders to promote relations with Japanese businesses. As guests of the Japan Foundation – an institution under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan -- Ms. Baker and 26 other elected officials and US business leaders traveled to Japan in October 2019 to visit Japanese companies and participate in exchanges with Japanese business leaders. Japanese-owned companies directly employ over 50,000 workers in Texas, and there are 150 Japanese-affiliated companies in Houston. In a recent Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) survey, Texas was rated by Japanese-affiliated businesses as the state with the most potential for growth, and there has been a 34.7% increase in Japanese-affiliated businesses in Greater Houston over the past five years. Owing to this surge, Japan now ranks 2nd among countries with foreign-owned business in Houston. During their visits to Tokyo and Kyoto, Ms. Baker’s delegation met with officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Japan Business Federation and the Japan External Trade Organization, among others.