Israel and Japan celebrate 70 years of diplomatic relations

  (photo credit: EMBASSY OF ISRAEL IN JAPAN)

Israel and Japan celebrated 70 years of diplomatic relations in November with a spontaneous musical performance by Japan’s Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi.

“We are excited to celebrate 70 years of relations between us and Japan, the third largest economy in the world and one of the most important countries in the international arena,” said Israeli Ambassador Gilad Cohen.

“Israel and Japan as strategic partners share the same values and interests, which is a solid foundation for cooperation in all fields,” he added. “I expect that this positive trend will strengthen.”

The reception hosted by the Embassy of Israel in Tokyo saw the participation of some 500 people, including Hayashi as the guest of honor. At the culmination of the evening, the Japanese minister joined Israeli singer Gilad Segev on stage and played the guitar along him, offering a further proof of the close friendship between the countries.

Hayashi also took the opportunity to announce the launching of a Joint Study on the possibility of a Japan-Israel Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

Such an agreement could lead to a significant discount of Japanese goods and vehicles imported to Israel, and to an increase in exports from Israel to Japan.


In recent years, the volume of trade between the countries has already doubled, and many agreements have been signed in several fields, including cybersecurity and scientific cooperation. Since 2000, Japanese companies have already invested some $13 billion in Israel.

“Our ties lead to results that directly affect the lives of citizens in both countries,” said Cohen. “Direct El Al flights between Tel Aviv and Tokyo will soon begin, and we expect a significant increase in the number of tourists and businessmen coming from Israel to Japan and vice versa.”

Hayashi also said that he looked forward to "building close ties with the new Israeli government and further strengthening our relations." In addition, he expressed gratitude for the help Israel gave Japan after the catastrophic earthquake that devastated Japan in 2011.

"I want to emphasize how grateful we are for the help from Israel at that time," Hayashi noted.

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