Japan-Austria Relations

May 10, 2022

History of the Bilateral Relationship

  • (1) Japan and Austria have a long history of friendly bilateral relations. Japan concluded in 1869 the "Treaty of Amity and Commerce," thus establishing diplomatic relations with Austria. Diplomatic relations were restored in July 1953 by an exchange of notes, after having passed through a period of interruption during the Second World War. Direct flights between Tokyo and Vienna were established in 1989 (a joint service between Austrian Airlines and All Nippon Airways), which contributed to accelerating bilateral exchanges.
  • (2) Exchanges of high-level visits between Japan and Austria in recent years
    Japan and Austria celebrated the 150th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations in 2019, and on that occasion, a series of reciprocal visits took place at the high level, including the visit to Austria by Her Imperial Highness Princess Kako and the visits to Japan by President Van der Bellen and by the then Chancellor Kurz.
  • (3) Japan-Austria Committee for Issues of the Future
    Following the proposal made by both foreign ministers, both countries established the "Japanese-Austrian Committee for the 21st Century" in 1994, which consists of members from the business circle, academics, and government officials (the committee was renamed "Japan-Austria Committee for Issues of the Future" in 2012). As the only public-private forum that exists between Japan and Austria, the Committee meets every other year, alternately in Japan and Austria, to engage in lively discussions on a variety of topics in the political, economic, diplomatic, and social fields. To date, 23 physical meetings and two virtual meetings have been held. The most recent in-person meeting was held in Asahikawa, Hokkaido, Japan, on September 6-7, 2019. The Japanese side of the committee is chaired by Yoshio Sato, Senior Corporate Advisor to Sumitomo Life Insurance Company (Co-Chair of Keidanren's Committee on Europe), and the Austrian side is chaired by Professor Dr. Wolfgang Mazal, University of Vienna.

Economic Relations

  • Exports 136.2 billion Yen (general equipment, transport equipment, electrical equipment) (2021)
  • Imports 247.5 billion Yen (transport equipment, general equipment, electrical equipment, chemicals, timber/timber products) (2021)

Cultural Exchanges

Japan and Austria have active exchanges in culture and art. On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations in 2019, numerous cultural and exchange events, of which 210 events in Austria, were held in both countries.

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