This series was reported in partnership with the International Center for Journalists, where J. Andrew Curliss was a Japan 2014 Fellow. The center’s mission is to support quality journalism across the world. Curliss proposed reporting on economic ties between North Carolina and Japan and was selected for the program, which paid for reporting and travel expenses.
The center receives funding from the U.S.-Japan Foundation, a private grant-making foundation with a goal of seeing “stronger ties between Americans and Japanese by supporting projects that foster mutual knowledge and education, deepen understanding, create effective channels of communication, and address common concerns in an increasingly interdependent world.”
For this series, Curliss interviewed more than 100 people, read dozens of reports and studies, and acquired a wide range of data on trade and exports. He traveled extensively in Eastern North Carolina, visited logistics offices in New York and reported for two weeks in and around the Tokyo metropolitan area with Junko Takahashi, a translator arranged by the center.