WATERFORD, MI - The Oakland County Business Development team will meet with more than a dozen Japanese companies during a 12-day trade mission that will crisscross the country and include the 2015 Midwest U.S. \u2013 Japan Association Conference.\r\nOakland County is among the leading counties in the United States for foreign investment, with 1,000 international firms from 39 countries having business locations here. Of that number, 279 companies are Japan-based.\r\n"Japan continues to be an important market for Oakland County," County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. "We are meeting with companies such as Denso which have a significant presence here and several others we'd like to bring into the fold. We are proud of the business climate we've created for international companies and the infrastructure created to support them."\r\nThe county is part of the Michigan Delegation, which includes representatives from the Detroit Regional Chamber, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and the cities of Auburn Hills and Southfield. Gov. Rick Snyder is expected to address the conference, which was formed in 1967. It includes 10 states and at least 100 corporate members that have direct economic ties to Japan or are interested in developing them, including Toyota, Saison Group, Sumitomo Chemical and Sony.\r\nIn 2014, foreign direct investment in Oakland County totaled over $171 million \u2013 more than a quarter of the $658 million total business investment in the county. The investment created 1,941 jobs. In 2014, more than two international businesses a month either expanded or located in Oakland County.\r\nThe county will also attend a meeting of the Japanese Automotive Parts Industry Association.