Japan has been the most successful country for the market development initiatives of U.S. agricultural exporters. In fact, in 1970 Japan was the first country to import more than $1 billion worth of food and agricultural products from the United States. Over the next 25 years U.S. agricultural exports to Japan grew ten-fold, and in 1995 Japan was the first country to import more than $10 billion worth of U.S. food and agricultural products. These accomplishments are attributed to the successful partnerships between American and Japanese firms that have been developed and nurtured over 50 years.

Many of these partnerships are a direct result of the outstanding work that has been done in Japan by the participants in the U.S. cooperator program, which is widely considered the most successful public-private venture in the United States. Here, in their own words, participants in the U.S. cooperator program talk about the importance of their activities in the Japanese market.