Israel, Japan sign economic, cyber cooperation agreements

The new agreements signed with Japan are a continuation of previous such partnerships launched in East Asia with China and South Korea.

PM Netanyahu and PM of Japan Shinzo Abe‏ (photo credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)
PM Netanyahu and PM of Japan Shinzo Abe‏
(photo credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)
The Israeli and Japanese economy ministers on Wednesday signed two agreements in Jerusalem that call for collaboration on both business and cyber security ventures in a bid to double the trade volume between the two countries.
In the first agreement, Economy Minister Eli Cohen and his Japanese counterpart, Hiroshige Seko, signed a joint statement that calls for increased cooperation among government bodies, economic organizations and companies across a wide range of sectors. Central to the arrangement will be the establishment of a body unifying and promoting collaborative work in artificial intelligence, robotics, Internet of things and autonomous driving, according to the Economy Ministry.
“I see cooperation with Japan, the third biggest economy after China and the United States, as a strategic goal for the Israeli economy,” Cohen said. “Minister Seko’s visit to Israel is a sign of Japan’s serious intentions to become closer to Israel and increase our economic relations.”
The second agreement calls for increased investments and joint activity in the cyber security sector, including a joint training program, collaborative workshops and the contribution of Israeli experts to Japan’s Center of Excellence in Cyber Security. “We need Israeli support in the cyber field ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and we look forward to fruitful cooperation,” Seko said.
The agreements are a continuation of similar partnerships launched in East Asia with China and South Korea, all of which have as their goal the strengthening of the Israeli economy, Cohen explained.
“My Japanese colleague and I have set a common goal to double the trade between the countries, and I believe that we will successfully meet this goal,” he said.
The volume of trade in goods between Israel and Japan amounted to about $3 billion in 2016, with the export of Israeli goods to Japan valued at about $700 million, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics. Israeli goods exported to Japan are relatively diverse but most popularly consist of optical, medical and electrical equipment, while the $2.3b. worth of goods imported from Japan are typically mechanical appliances, computer equipment and vehicles, the Economy Ministry said.