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Economic and Cultural Relations with Japan

The state of Wyoming is located centrally in the Rocky Mountain region, with nearly two-thirds of the state consisting of mountains and foothills of the Rocky Mountains. It is generally rural, as it is the 10th largest state in size but the least populous state in the nation. The capital of Cheyenne is the state's largest city, a title it shares with the city of Casper in the central part of the state.

Wyoming is known for its strong Western heritage and cowboy traditions, including rodeo, and for vast open spaces and expansive scenery which brings tourism to places such as Yellowstone National Park, located in the state's northwestern corner.

In addition to tourism, Wyoming's economy is driven mostly by the industry of mining and mineral production. The state is the largest producer of coal in the US, and is a leading producer of natural gas, oil, trona/soda ash, and other minerals. The state government is active in supporting the energy industry and possible new markets in Asia. Historically, agricultural production has also been important to the economy, and remains as an important part of Wyoming's culture and lifestyle.

In 2011, Japan was the 7th largest destination for Wyoming exports, dominated mainly by chemicals (soda ash) and other mineral products sent to Japan. Mining and agricultural products in Wyoming attract business from Japan, although there are few Japanese companies with actual operations in the state.

There is a chapter of the Japan America Society in the university town of Laramie, while Japan-related educational and cultural activities also take place in other cities and towns, notably Casper. The former site of Heart Mountain Relocation Center in northern Wyoming near Yellowstone is a National Historic Landmark, and now features the Wyoming Interpretive Learning Center museum.

In 2012, the state became the home of one of the world's newest and most powerful supercomputer installations, for researching global climate and weather. The (National Center for Atmospheric Research) NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputer Center is located near Cheyenne, and is expected to draw researchers from around the world.


Japanese Residents

There are approximately 231 Japanese residents in Wyoming (as of October 2011). Of those, many residents live in the Cheyenne area.

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