Maine officials declared a two-day trade mission to Japan a success, saying seeds were sown to enhance business relationships in the tourism, seafood and composites industries.

Led by Gov. Paul LePage and organized by Maine International Trade Center and the U.S. Commercial Service, the visit to Tokyo focused on developing exports for those industries and developing relationships for educational opportunities. MITC staff highlighted the state’s economic and workforce development assets to potential Japanese investors and the Maine Office of Tourism promoted the state to international visitors.

On Tuesday, Carolann Ouellette, director of the office of tourism, was the featured speaker at a luncheon for a dozen travel and trade companies that was sponsored by American Airlines.

“The Japanese market is already a top 10 international market for us,” said Ouellette in a release. “But we think there is still a lot of room to grow. It is mature and affluent, and with direct air service from Tokyo to Boston it is much easier to get to Maine. We think it’s a great match – the Japanese have a great love for outdoor experiences.”

Trade and government officials from Maine visited with Idexx’s growing Tokyo office, new potential investor companies and major trade and business groups such as the Japan External Trade Organization and the Keidanren Business Federation.

Several events were held in Tokyo to promote Maine industries. At one, 80 chefs and food importers learned about Maine lobster at a special educational session sponsored by the Maine Department of Marine Resources. A seminar on advanced materials drew over 60 people to learn about the Maine’s composites and advanced textiles sectors, according to the release.

On Tuesday, representatives of Maine Central Institute in Pittsfield and Mt. Blue Campus in Farmington, the two high schools in the delegation, spent the day meeting with Japanese education authorities and study abroad consultants before touring Isogo High School in Kanagawa, a part of Tokyo’s neighboring city of Yokohama. The school, which already partners with an Australian high school, is part of a recent trend in Japan of internationalizing education at both the university and high school levels. The University of Maine and the University of Southern Maine are also both represented as part of the delegation with full meeting schedules.

Maine delegates departed Tokyo on Wednesday and headed to Shanghai for the second part of the trade mission.