Ron DeSantis Calls for More Direct Flights Between Florida and Japan

In Tokyo this week, Gov. Ron DeSantis met with executives from Al Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines to discuss new direct flight opportunities between Florida and Japan.

DeSantis was joined by Florida Secretary of Commerce Laura DiBella and other members of the Florida delegation.

“While Florida has always been a great tourist destination, major cities like Orlando and Miami continue to offer strong business opportunities for countries like Japan. Direct flights would help those opportunities flourish in the coming years,” the governor’s office noted.

“Florida is excited to be strengthening our relationship with Japan,” said DeSantis. “Having more opportunities to travel between Florida and Japan can boost tourism and entrepreneurship and enhance relationships between businesses in Japan and those located in Florida.”

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a part of today’s crucial conversations regarding our next steps in building upon our already strong relationship with Japan,” said DiBella. “Today’s discussions were positive and informative, and I am eager to continue the conversations of bringing direct flights from Japan to the Sunshine State.”

Florida is home to two of the largest airports in the country. In 2022, Miami International Airport was the busiest airport in Florida and received a record breaking 50.6 million visitors. Orlando International Airport is historically one of the top ten busiest airports in the country and saw 50.1 million visitors in 2022.

Japan is the sixth largest foreign investor in Florida, with more than 200 Japanese companies employing more than 22,000 Floridians with holdings totaling more than $5.2 billion. Bilateral trade between Florida and Japan exceeds $6.6 billion annually, making it Florida’s second largest bilateral merchandise trade partner in the Asia-Pacific region and Florida’s seventh largest partner overall.

In 2022, Japan imported approximately $636 million in goods from Florida seaports and airports. Automobiles and related products account for almost 81 percent of all exports from Japan to Florida, with the Port of Jacksonville consistently serving as one of the top three ports for unloading Japanese vehicles for the United States. Additionally, auto parts from Japan are shipped through Florida’s distribution centers to part centers throughout the United States.

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