Japan in South Carolina



The state of South Carolina established an office in Tokyo in 1989 as part of a concerted effort to attract more Japanese investment to the state. The state government is very active in that regard, and participates fully in the Annual Joint Meeting of the Japan-U.S. Southeast Association. The visit of the Emperor and Empress to Charleston in June 1994 underscored the enhanced status the state enjoys from the Japanese perspective. Exchanges of state legislators with Japanese Diet members and other forms of strengthening political contact are all possibilities that can be fruitfully explored in the current highly favorable political relationship.


South Carolina has attracted Japanese industry for years. This is indicated by the fact that Japanese-affiliated companies have invested $4.9 billion in South Carolina, where currently 147 Japanese-affiliated companies operate. These companies in total employ 15,135 workers (as of January 2012). Some major Japanese firms in South Carolina are Fuji Photo Film, AFL Telecommunications, Bridgestone/Firestone, Honda of South Carolina, Hitachi Electric Devices, and Asahi Kasei Fibers. South Carolina's exports to Japan in 2011 amounted to $607 million, making Japan its 9th largest export market.

Cultural and Educational Organizations

Bonsai Society of the Carolinas: The BSC was the first bonsai club to be established in the Carolinas and since 1964 has been teaching, promoting and practicing the art of bonsai for almost half a century.

Place of Peace at Furman University: For many years this inter-generational temple, Hei-Sei-Ji, was standing in Nagoya, Japan. In 2004, it was dismantled into more than 2,400 pieces. Transported through the Panama Canal to Furman University, it was reconstructed by Japanese craftsmen in 2008.

Greenville Saturday School: Japanese language supplementary school for children of Japanese expatriates.
Japan America Association of South Carolina (Greenville): JAASC was created in 1988 due to the increasing number of Japanese-owned businesses establishing operations in South Carolina. Its mission is to promote a greater interest in and understanding of the culture and society of Japan and the United States through the operation of Japanese Saturday Schools and through meaningful social and cultural events. It currently has 20 member companies.

Matsuba Gakuen South Carolina Japanese Supplementary School (Columbia, SC): Japanese language supplementary school for children of Japanese expatriates.

Universities with Japanese Studies

Clemson University: B.A. in Modern Languages - Japanese, B.A. in Language and International Business - Japanese; Minor in Japanese, Minor in East Asian Studies; Exchange program with Fukui University, Chuyo University, Nagoya University of Foreign Studies, and Sophia University; Summer program in Osaka

College of Charleston: Minor in Japanese Studies; Exchange program with Kansai Gaidai University

Furman University: Major in Asian Studies; Exchange program with Waseda University and Kansai Gaidai University

University of South Carolina: Minor in Japanese, Cognate in Japanese; Exchange program with Kansai Gaidai University

Annual Events

​Japan America Association of South Carolina Annual New Year's Celebration (January)

Japan America Association of South Carolina Golf Tournament (April)

Greenville Bon Dance organized by Japan America Association of South Carolina (August)

SEUS-Japan Conference (October)
The Japan-U.S. Southeast Association was established in December 1975 to promote trade, investment, understanding and friendship between Japan and member states of the southeast U.S., Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. In 2007, the State of Mississippi joined the Association.

Japan America Association of South Carolina Golf Tournament (October)


This directory was compiled by the Consulate General of Japan in Atlanta with the support of The Japan-America Society of Alabama, The Japan-America Society of Georgia, The Japan-America Society of Charlotte, The North Carolina Japan Center, The Japan-America Society of Western South Carolina, and The Japan-Virginia Society. Specific listings have been gathered from information provided to the Consulate General of Japan in Atlanta and from public information sources. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of listings, but we cannot guarantee that there will be no errors. The Consulate General of Japan takes no legal liability for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information listed in this resource directory, or for the conduct of organizations or businesses listed. Furthermore, links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views contained therein.