Japanese PM to Arrive in Israel in First Visit Since 2006

For the first time in nine years, Japan’s Prime Minister will visit Israel on a week-long trip meant to strengthen ties in the economic and technological fields.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is scheduled to arrive in Israel on Friday for a visit, as part of his regional tour. This will be the first visit by a Japanese prime minister to Israel since Junichiro Koizumi visited in the summer of 2006.

The visit comes just a few weeks after Israel’s cabinet approved a plan to strengthen economic ties with Japan at the investment of tens of millions of shekels.

Netanyahu stressed the importance of diversifying Israel’s markets, which is primarily based on trade with the European Union and the US. “In the last two years, I have met with the leaders of China, Japan and India as part of a comprehensive policy of turning to major markets including Latin America and Africa,” Netanyahu said.

Japan is the third largest economy in the world, and trade between the two countries has grown by 10% to $1.75 billion over the course of 2014.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was a guest of the Japanese government for a four-day visit last May.

“There is a common bond” between Israel and Japan,” Netanyahu said then at the start of a meeting, which included members of the Israel Japan Parliamentary Friendship League. Israel and Japan are “both democratic, progress, technological societies. You face North Korea, which is a rogue regime with nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu asserted.

“I am determined, together with Prime Minister Netanyahu, to make further efforts to strengthen Japan-Israel relations, so that the potentials are fully materialized,” Abe told the media in Tokyo during his meeting with Netanyahu.

By: Atara Beck, World Israel News