ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan on Monday joined Governor Yuji Kuroiwa of Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan to sign and renew a Memorandum of Understanding between Maryland and Kanagawa. The renewal highlights the regions’ shared commitment to advancing the life sciences and health care as well as the potential for health-related collaboration in other industry sectors including cybersecurity and robotics.
“It is clear that Maryland and Japan share many connections—perhaps most apparent through our sister state-prefecture relationship with Kanagawa, which continues to be one of our oldest, most important sister state relationships in the world,” said Governor Hogan. “The memorandum we are enacting today will allow us to build on the success of these longstanding partnerships, and build on our mutual strengths in biotech and the life sciences industries.”
“I am very pleased to be able to sign the MOU again with the State of Maryland today,” said Governor Kuroiwa. “In order to address issues of the super-aged society, Kanagawa has been carrying out a policy package called ‘Healthcare New Frontier,’ pursuing cutting-edge medical technologies under the concept of ME-BYO. I hope that our already strong bond will become even stronger, and I would like to encourage diverse collaboration between our two great regions.”
The “ME-BYO” concept promoted in Kanagawa encourages people to think of their mental and physical health as a continuous spectrum, rather than just being either “healthy” or “sick.”
The Maryland-Kanagawa Sister State partnership was established in 1981. Throughout the decades, bilateral projects have ranged from lacrosse exchanges to arts and culture programming, women’s issues, a clean energy research mission, and student visits. A delegation of Kanagawa high school students is currently taking part in a two-week English language and American culture study program at UMBC.
The two regions first signed an MOU to collaborate on biotech and the life sciences in 2014. The document signed today updates and expands that agreement and includes a specific focus on connecting Maryland’s biohealth industry with Kanagawa’s “Healthcare New Frontier” policy program, which is working to address the challenges faced by a rapidly aging population. The MOU will remain in effect for five years.