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Japanese Official Visits Youngstown to Talk Revitalization - The Business Journal

The city played host Tuesday to a Japanese local government official that wants to know how communities such as Youngstown are rebuilding themselves in the face of population decline and other challenges.

Arika Aizawa, assistant director of the city of Kitaibaraki, Ibaraki Prefecture, visited Youngstown as part of a three-day tour that also includes stops in Pittsburgh and Cleveland. Accompanying her on the visit was Seth Benjamin, senior researcher with the Japan Local Government Center, based in New York.

While in Youngstown, Aizawa met with city officials, community groups such as the Youngstown Neighborhood Redevelopment Corp. and staff members of the Youngstown Business Incubator downtown.

The meetings touched upon issues such as how the city is coping with population loss, unemployment, and the strategies it’s using to empower business and economic growth said Ian Beniston, executive director of YNDC.

“We’ve had many folks from Japan here over the last five years,” said Ian Beniston, executive director of the YNDC. “They’re here to learn.”

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