This Day in Dayton, 14 May
The Suburu-Isuzu ground-breaking west of Dayton took place on May 14, 1987. Governor Robert Orr was present for the festivities, along with Yoshio Karita, the Japanese counsel general in Chicago; Tamon Yamamoto, president of SIA; James Riehle, mayor of Lafayette; Toshihiro Tajima, president of Fuji; Kenneth Yost, president of the Dayton Town Board; and others. Chris Schenkel was master of ceremonies. A Japanese shinto priest purified the site, and Lafayette Roman Catholic Bishop William Higi offered a prayer. SIA had been unaware that part of the site was within the boundaries of the town of Dayton until after the press conference the previous December, and Dayton had not been consulted during the negotiations, either. Once the oversight was revealed, SIA included Dayton in its plans, inviting town officials to an official luncheon at Howard Johnsons restaurant on January 14, 1987. The town was presented with a Japanese fan, and SIA donated a vehicle to the fire department. The ceremonies on May 14 were extensive. Carp flags were flown, a symbol in Japan of untiring efforts. Recently the carp flags were flying again at SIA.