At the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, Southern Illinois is centrally located in the Midwest. Its vast transportation network includes four port districts, three interstate highways, three railroads and two airports. Southern Illinois is within driving distance of major metropolitan areas, including St. Louis (160 kilometers), Nashville (320 kilometers) and Chicago (480 kilometers).

The region boasts a highly educated and trained workforce as it is home to Southern Illinois University, ranked in the top 4% of U.S. higher education institutions for research, as well as a strong network of four regional community colleges offering 45 technical career certificates.

Recognized for its strong academic programs in automotive technology, aviation, fermentation science and engineering, SIU is a proud host to thousands of international faculty and students, and has active partnerships with Nagoya University and Meiji University in Japan.

Southern Illinois offers a high quality of life, low cost of living, excellent health care services and ample recreation opportunities in the Shawnee National Forest.

Home to three Aisin Group manufacturing facilities, the region sees many future opportunities for collaboration with other Japanese investors in sustainable energy and electrification, value-added agriculture, manufacturing and supply chain logistics.