- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 6, 2017

CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner plans his administration’s first international trade mission with an eight-day visit to Japan and China.

Rauner’s office on Wednesday said the trip will start Saturday in Tokyo, where the governor will attend the Midwest-USA Japan Conference. Former Illinois Gov. James Thompson started the conference nearly 50 years ago. Rauner then will continue on to Shanghai and Hangzhou, China, where he will have meetings with government officials that his office says will promote Illinois in China.

Rauner’s office says the goal of the trip is to create opportunities for Illinois businesses and strengthen Illinois’ diplomatic and trade relationships in the two countries. Rauner says trade missions “allow Illinois companies to enhance their competitiveness and create more jobs.”

Rauner’s trip is to end Sept. 17.

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