November 20, 2020


Historical overview of bilateral relations

  1. Hungary has traditionally been friendly to Japan. For a period after the end of the Second World War, diplomatic relations between Hungary and Japan were severed due to the impact of the Cold War, but diplomatic relations were resumed with the exchange of official documents in August 1959 recognizing the restoration of relations between the two countries. In 1960, both countries established diplomatic representations in the other's country, and in June 1964, these legations were raised to the embassy level. At the time of the change of regime in Hungary, Japan positively extended assistance to Hungary. Since then, bilateral relations between the two countries have been progressing significantly. 2019 was a milestone year that marked 150 years since Japan concluded the “Treaty of Amity and Commerce” with Austria-Hungary (1869). In this monumental year marking 150 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Hungary, Her Imperial Highness Princess Kako of Akishino made her first official overseas visit to Hungary and Austria from September 15 to 25.
  2. Japan also attaches great importance to establishing its cooperative relationship with the Visegrád Four, a regional cooperative framework comprising the four countries of Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary, which are increasing their presence in Europe against the backdrop of steady economic growth. Japan-V4 cooperation was further strengthened by implementing the “V4+Japan” Seminar Regarding the Global Economy and Free Trade in April 2019 and holding the Third “Visegrad Group plus Japan” Summit Meeting during Prime Minister Abe’ s visit to Slovakia, continuing on from the previous year.

Economic relations

  1. Since 1991, Japanese exports to Hungary have exceeded imports from that country. In 2019, with exports from Japan increasing by 1.02% over the previous year to 185 billion yen, and imports decreasing by 0.87% to 101.1 billion yen, Japan's trade surplus with Hungary reached 83.9 billion yen.
     The main Japanese exports have been electrical and electric equipment, automobile parts and power generation equipment, cameras and semiconductors; the main imports, vehicles, power generation equipment, pork and medical equipment.
  2. The total amount of Japanese direct investment in Hungary in 2019 was approximately 1.3 billion Euros (as reported to the National Bank of Hungary). The main areas of Japanese investment are in manufactures, particularly automotive industry. In recent years, about 160 Japanese firms have actively expanded their business in Hungary and contributed to create an employment for almost 34,000 people.

Economic Cooperation (up to 2008 March)

In order to help smooth the way for Hungary's move toward democratization and a market economy, Japan had provided technical cooperation and dispatched experts in corporate management, environment until 2008 March.

(1) Loan aid
4.91 billion yen
(2) Grand aid
6.32 million yen
(3) Technical Cooperation
7.69 billion yen

Cultural relations

  1. Japan started to offer scholarship for research students from Hungary in 1965. In addition to that, Japanese government now provides several scholarship programs for Undergraduate students, Japanese studies students, teacher training students and the Young Leaders Program (YLP) students. In recent years, around 20 students from Hungary per year have been accepted in Japan at the Japanese government’s expense. The number of students has amounted approximately 500 in total by November 2020.
  2. On the other hand, Hungary also started to accept Japanese students in 1966. In 2013, the Hungarian government founded the Stipendium Hungaricum Scholarship Programme for 100 Japanese students per academic year, based on the memorandum between the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan and the Ministry of Human Resources of Hungary.
  3. The Office of the Japan Foundation opened in Budapest in 1991. By that, the cultural exchanges between Japan and Hungary have expanded and the highly good relationships in the cultural fields have been maintained.

Number of Residents

  • Number of Japanese Nationals residing in Hungary: 1,691 (Sep. 2020)
  • Number of Hungarian Nationals residing in Japan: 753 (Dec. 2019)

VIP Visits

(1) From Japan to Hungary (after 2000)
Year Name
2000.08 President of the House of Councilors SAITO Juro
2001.11 Representative of Government of Japan ARIMA Tatsuro
2002.07 Their Majesties the Emperor Emeritus and Empress Emerita
2004.09 Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs ARAI Shogo
2005.11 State Minister for Foreign Affairs KANADA Tsunetoshi
2006.09 Speaker of the House of Representatives KONO Yohei
2007.01 Minister of Foreign Affairs ASO Taro
2009.05 Their Imperial Highness the Crown Prince and Crown Princess Akishino
2011.06 Minister of Foreign Affairs MATSUMOTO Takeaki
2013.08 Minister of Foreign Affairs KISHIDA Fumio
2017.08 His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince Akishino and Her Imperial Highness Princess Mako of Akishino
2018.07 Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology HAYASHI Yoshimasa
2019.04 Special Advisor to the Prime Minister SONOURA Kentaro
2019.06 Commissioner of Japan Sports Agency SUZUKI Daichi
2019.09 Her Imperial Highness Princess Kako of Akishino
(2) From Hungary to Japan (after 2000)
Year Name
2000.04 President Árpád Göncz and his spouse (State Visit)
2003.11 Minister of Foreign Affairs László Kovács
2004.09 Spous of President Ferenc Mádl
2004.10 Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány and his spouse
2005.05 Minister of Foreign Affairs Ferenc Somogyi
2005.11 Speaker of the National Assembly Katalin Szili
2008.03 Minister of Foreign Affairs Kinga Göncz
2009.12 President László Sólyom (Official Visit)
2013.05 Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén
Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly János Latorcai
2013.11 Prime Minister Viktor Orbán (Official Visit)
2014.11 Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó
2016.05 Speaker of the National Assembly László Kövér
2017.02 Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó
2019.10 President János Áder and his spouse (attended the Ceremony of the Enthronement of His Majesty the Emperor at the Seiden (State Hall))
2019.11 Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó
2019.12 Prime Minister Viktor Orbán
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó


Since June 1997, exemptions for ordinary visas have been granted.

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