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Japan-Based San-J International Invests $38 Million To Expand Its Henrico County, Virginia, Production Plant

San-J International, Inc., a leading producer of tamari sauce, will invest $38 million to expand its operation in Henrico County, Virginia. With a significant rise in customer demand for gluten-free products, the Henrico facility will increase production volumes with state-of-the-art equipment and create 18 new jobs.

The company was founded by the Sato family as a tamari and miso company in 1804 in Mie, Japan. Current San-J President, Takashi Sato, is an eighth-generation member of the founding family. The company began brewing the first tamari from its Henrico, Virginia facility in 1987, continuing the 200-year tradition of Japanese brewing mastery. The existing Henrico County plant employs 55.

"We have long appreciated the commitment of the Commonwealth and Henrico County to our company's continued prosperity," noted Takashi Sato, President of San-J International, Inc. "Governor McAuliffe's personal visit with our corporate leadership during his recent trade mission to Japan, along with the many years of support from Henrico, assured us that making such a large investment to serve the growing U.S. market from right here was the best choice for us."

As an incentive, Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the Henrico County Economic Development Authority to secure the project for Virginia. Governor McAuliffe approved a $300,000 performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership program, an incentive available to existing Virginia companies. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training and retraining activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

“Creating advanced manufacturing jobs is critical as we work to build a new Virginia economy, and I am proud that San-J is a part of that effort. With this tremendous investment and expansion, San-J International can meet increasing demand by making more of its product right here in Virginia. I had the honor of meeting with company officials in Tokyo last October, and I am thrilled to celebrate the fruition of this significant win,” Governor Terry McAuliffe said.

“San-J has been a corporate staple on Virginia’s roster of international companies for nearly 30 years and continues to invest in its Henrico County operation,” said Maurice Jones, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade. “The Henrico plant was the first Tamari brewing facility built in the U.S., and product demand continues to grow. An expansion of this size ensures the company’s future longevity in the Commonwealth and is a great testament to San-J’s success in our first-class business environment.”

Frank J. Thornton, Chairman of the Henrico County Board of Supervisors, said “Henrico County has been working with the company for a long time on this expansion, and we are pleased that San-J will be providing the world even more high-quality, gluten-free tamari sauce from this expanded facility. Landing new companies is always nice, but having one of our existing companies decide to expand here is especially gratifying.”

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