Official relations between Japan and the state of Georgia were first inaugurated in 1973 with the establishment of a Georgia State Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism office in Tokyo. The opening of the Consulate General of Japan in Atlanta in April 1974 offered a major boost in bilateral political relations. In 1991, Prime Minister Toshihiki Kaifu visited Atlanta. The visit of the Emperor and Empress to Atlanta in June 1994 was a crowning touch to these developing political ties. Political relations, economic development, and personal contacts are renewed and reinforced every year by Georgia state government officials at the Annual Joint Meeting of the Japan U.S. Southeast Association. The Japanese Government also sponsored a visit of two Georgia state legislators to Japan in late November-early December 1995.
Georgia shares a Sister State/Prefecture relationship with Kagoshima. There are 11 Sister City relationships between Georgia and Japan: Elberton-Mure, Americus-Miyoshi, Gainesville-Izunokuni, Atlanta-Fukuoka, LaGrange-Aso, Augusta-Takarazuka, Macon-Kurobe, Savannah-Shimizu, Columbus-Kiryu, Rome-Kumamoto, Dublin-Osaki. Georgia and Japan also share 1 Sister Port relationship between Savannah and Shimizu.
Georgia is regarded as the center of Japanese industry in the U.S. Southeast. Japanese-affiliated companies have invested $10.4 billion in Georgia, where 547 Japanese-affiliated companies currently operate. These companies together employ nearly 37,000 Georgian workers. Some major Japanese firms in Georgia include Kubota, Murata, Panasonic, Ricoh, TOTO, Toyo Tire, Yamaha, and YKK. In 2015, Georgia's imports from Japan amounted to $4.61 billion, making Japan the 5th largest international importer, and Georgia's exports to Japan amounted to $1.37 billion, making Japan the 6th largest export market. Over 50 Georgia companies have operations in Japan including Aflac, Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines, NCR, Newell Rubbermaid, and UPS).