• The Associated Press


Seeking to lure investment from a country that once threatened her state’s main industry with ruin, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm said Thursday her five-day trade mission to Japan underscores the new reality of the global economy — evolve, or die.

While calling Japan “the heart of the competition” for Michigan carmakers, Granholm said it is crucial for her state to lure Japanese investment, whether in the form of new Toyota plants, biotech firms or alternative energy startups.

“If you are not evolving, if you are not adapting, you are falling behind,” she told a news conference at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan. “For us in Michigan, it is so important not to be victimized by the global economy, but to take advantage of it. That’s why we’re here.”

Granholm began her Japan visit Monday, leading a seminar of 65 Japanese auto-related firms on the sidelines of the 2005 World Expo in Nagakute, Aichi Prefecture. On Tuesday, she met the governor of Michigan’s sister state, Shiga Prefecture.

Granholm has singled out biotechnology investment as a major goal, and on Wednesday her delegation met with researchers and representatives of about 70 companies that specialize in pharmacology, oncology and various medical treatments.

Granholm has proposed a $2 billion initiative to support high-tech research and commercialization of biotechnology, micro- and nanotechnology, and other life sciences research.

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