Japan-Belgium Relations

Japan-Belgium Relations (Basic Data)

August 16, 2017

Basic Data

Diplomatic Relations:

  • Established in 1866 with the signing of the Treaty of Amity, Commerce and Navigation.

Japanese Nationals:

  • Number of Japanese nationals residing in Belgium: 5,707 (Oct. 2016)
  • Number of Belgian nationals residing in Japan: 1,330 (2015)

Trade with Japan:

  • Exports (2016): 621 billion yen (motor vehicles and parts, organic chemicals, plastics, rubber products, construction and mining machines, etc.)
  • Imports (2016): 270 billion yen (pharmaceutical products, motor vehicles and parts, organic chemicals, diamonds, chemical products, etc.)

Direct Investment:

a. Flow (2016)
Japan to Belgium: 157 billion yen
Belgium to Japan: 9 billion yen
b. Stock (2016)
Japan to Belgium: 2.04 trillion yen
Belgium to Japan: 73.8 billion yen

VIP Visits

From Japan to Belgium
Year Name
1990 His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince
Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu with his wife
Foreign Minister Taro Nakayama
1991 Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu
International Trade and Insustry Minister Eiichi Nakao
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Motoji Kondo
1993 Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress (twice)
1994 Prime Minister Tsutomu Hata
1996 Foreign Minister Yukihiko Ikeda
1997 Foreign Minister Yukihiko Ikeda
1999 Former Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto
His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince and Crown Princess
2000 Foreign Minister Yohei Kono
International Trade and Industry Minister Takashi Fukaya
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tokuichiro Tamazawa
2001 Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi
2002 Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi
2005 Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Itsunori Onodera
Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura
Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Shintaro Ito
2006 Foreign Minister Taro Aso
Minister of State for Special Missions Koki Chuma
Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Takeshi Iwaya
2007 Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
Defense Minister Fumio Kyuma
2008 Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Yasutoshi Nishimura
2009 Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Yasutoshi Nishimura
2010 Prime Minister Naoto Kan
2011 State Minister in charge of Financial and Postal Issues Shozaburo Jimi
Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto
Prime Minister Naoto Kan
2013 State Minister for Foreign Affairs Masaji Matsuyama
2014 Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
Her Majesty the Empress
2015 Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida
2016 State Minister of Foreign Affairs Yoji Muto
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
2017 Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
From Belgium to Japan
Year Name
1990 Their Majesties King Baudouin and the Queen
Deputy Prime Minister Dehaene
1991 Deputy Prime Minister Claes
1992 Their Majesties King Baudouin and the Queen
Foreign Minister Claes
1993 His Royal Highness Prince Albert
Prime Minister Dehaene
1994 His Royal Highness Crown Prince Philippe
1996 Their Majesties King Albert and Queen
Foreign Minister Derycke
1997 His Royal Highness Crown Prince Philippe
1998 Deputy Prime Minister Di Rupo
1999 His Royal Highness Crown Prince Philippe
2000 Their Royal Highness Crown Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde
2001 Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt
2002 Finance Minister Didier Reynders
Their Royal Highness Crown Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde
Minister, attached to the Foreign Minister Annemie Neyts-Uyttebroeck
2003 His Royal Highness Prince Laurent
Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt
2005 His Royal Highness Crown Prince Philippe
Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht
Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt
Finance Minister Didier Reynders
2006 Chief of Defence August Van daele
2008 Economy and Administrative Simplification Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne
2010 Prime Minister Yves Leterme
Foreign Minister Steven Vanackere
2011 Minister-President of the Government of Flanders Kris Peeters
2012 Their Royal Highness Crown Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde
Foreign Minister Didier Reynders
Minister-President of the Walloon Region Rudy Demotte
Finance Minister Steven Vanackere
2013 Her Royal Highness Princess Astrid
2014 Her Royal Highness Princess Maria Laura
2015 Prime Minister Charles Michel, Vice-Prime Minister and Employment, Economy and Consummators Minister Kris Peeters, State Secretary of the Brussels-Capital Region for Foreign Trade Cécile Jodogne
2016 State Secretary of the Brussels-Capital Region for Foreign Trade Cécile Jodogne

Cultural Exchanges

Main cultural events between Belgium and Japan are;
1989 "Europalia" Japan (introducing Japanese culture in general)
1993 The European Capital of Culture and events introducing Japanese culture were held in Antwerp
2016 The 150th Anniversary of Japan-Belgium Friendship

In addition to the above, a number of Japanese cultural events in large scale have been held in Belgium by the Japan Foundation, the Embassy of Japan, and others. Many Japanese musicians and artists participate in the Queen Elisabeth Music Competition, the Adolphe Sax International Competition and other competitions and festivals in Belgium. In 2016, various events relating to Japan are held under the name "the 150th Anniversary of Japan-Belgium Friendship" to celebrate the 150th anniversary between the two countries.

Recent Trends

Belgium and Japan are enjoying the close friendship between the royal and imperial family. In recent years, then H.R.H Crown Prince Philippe has lead economic missions to Japan in 2005 and 2012. Then he paid a State Visit to Japan as King Philippe in 2016, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between Japan and Belgium. Exchanges of high level officials between the two governments are also active; Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel visited Tokyo in 2015 and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Brussels in May 2016 on the occasion of the 150th anniversary.