Japan-Based Companies Make Moves In North Carolina

The companies are building on more than $6.6 billion in investments that have originated from the country between 2018 and 2022.

Two Japanese companies are establishing a presence in North Carolina, building on more than $6.6 billion in investments that have originated from the country between 2018 and 2022, according to the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC).

Fujihatsu & Toyotsu Battery Components, North Carolina LLC (FTBC) — a new partnership between Fujihatsu Tech America and Toyota Tsusho America — plans to invest $60 million and create more than 100 jobs to locate an electric vehicle battery component manufacturing facility in Liberty, North Carolina.

North Carolina“North Carolina’s reputation as a leader in the clean energy and EV industries is not only attracting flagship companies like Toyota, but key players in the EV supply chain,” said Christopher Chung, EDPNC’s CEO). “Our state’s world-class education system, customizable workforce development programs and the largest manufacturing workforce in the Southeast also provide the support companies like FTBC need to succeed.”

Once complete, the site will manufacture and sell “prismatic aluminum cell cases and cell covers with discharge valves,” supporting Toyota Battery Manufacturing North Carolina, according to EDPNC. Production is expected to begin in 2025, with an initial volume of 2.7 million units per month.

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Toyota announced in 2021 its first North American battery manufacturing plant — a $1.29 billion investment in Liberty, North Carolina, that created 1,750 jobs. The auto maker has announced three expansions since.

FTBC was established in July 2023 and the joint venture was publicly announced earlier this month.

Meanwhile, Kyowa Kirin, a global specialty pharmaceutical company, plans to invest $200 million to establish a new manufacturing complex in Lee County, North Carolina.

The company will create 102 new jobs at the Helix Innovation Park site, according to EDPNC, which will:

• Support manufacturing of biologic products for targeted clinical and commercial use;
• Expand Kyow Kirin’s global footprint;
• Create more resilient and efficient supply lines;
• And support the training and development of its workforce.

“Welcoming a new company like Kyowa Kirin to our state is the product of collaboration with partners such as NCBiotech,” Chung said. “Our colleagues at NCBiotech provide a level of expertise that highlights North Carolina’s long-term commitment and leadership in the life sciences industry. Our state’s life sciences industry launched in the 1950s, and we have leveraged this foundation to become a premier biomanufacturing location.”

The company has operated for more than 70 years in Japan, Asia Pacific, North America and other international regions.

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