A map shows Japanese facilities taking shape and preparing for future growth at The Lakes at Green Valley in Griffin. Map: Griffin-Spalding Industrial Development Authority

It’s easy being green, apparently. Auto parts manufacturer Mitsui Kinzoku Die-Casting Technology America Inc. will become the fifth Japanese company to set up shop in The Lakes at Green Valley, a seemingly contradictory blend of natural landscape, eco-friendly architecture and industrial park in Griffin, Ga.

The development has proven irresistible to Japanese firms landing in the state over the past six years. Water heater manufacturer Rinnai, rice vinegar producer Marukan, Toppan Printing and Otsuka Chemical have all set up locations there, with combined investments totaling more than $200 million.

The new Mitsu-Kinzoku factory will make parts for electric-vehicle makers, bringing a $20 million investment and 30 new jobs.

“We are pleased to welcome Mitsui Kinzoku Die-Casting to The Lakes at Green Valley,” Chuck Copeland, chair of the Griffin-Spalding Development Authority, said in a statement. “The preliminary designs they have shared with us for their facility depict a world-class manufacturing facility which will be a strong addition to our tax base, as well as create a number of quality jobs for our area.”

Mitsui-Kinzoku President Hiroyuki Nakazawa said the company looks forward to setting up shop in the “beautiful city of Griffin” and building an outfit that is “rooted in the local community.” 

According to a news release from the Georgia Department of Economic Development, this is only the first step in a journey the company hopes will include multiple job-generating expansions over the next few years. 

The announcement comes on the heels of a SEUS Japan Alliance conference in Savannah in October, which reinforced the strong automotive connections between the region and the country even as officials on both sides urged cooler heads to prevail in simmering trade disputes. 

President Trump had threatened to slap tariffs on imported Japanese cars and auto parts, a move that has been effectively (though not officially) delayed thanks to an apparent understanding reached as part of a first-step bilateral deal signed in September.

Announced Capital Investments by Japanese Companies in Griffin Since 2013:

  1. Toppan Printing — $100 million
  2. Otsuka Chemical — not disclosed
  3. Rinnai — $69 million
  4. Marukan — $13 million
  5. Mitsui-Kinzoku Die Casting Technology — $20 million

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...