Pence jobs mission to Japan funded by private donors

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Republican Gov. Mike Pence is in Japan for a week-long mission meant to drum up investment in Indiana by touting its business-friendly climate.

The trip, which kicks off with a Sunday reception in Tokyo, is being paid for by a coterie of powerful interests that sent representatives who will join the governor and first lady Karen Pence during cultural exchanges and business meetings with major manufacturers including Honda, Toyota, Mitsubishi and Subaru.

Pence has long maintained that these international trips are crucial to attracting new businesses and jobs to the state at no cost to taxpayers.

Critics say those who donate the money that funds these trips are purchasing outsized influence at the expense of the public good.

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