Japan-Romania Relations

January 22, 2019

Overview on Bilateral Relations

  1. Japan has been traditionally enjoying cordial relations with Romania since its first diplomatic contact in 1902, when Envoys Extraordinary of the two countries at Vienna held an informal consultation for establishing diplomatic relations (Romania established its legation in Tokyo in 1921, while Japan established its legation in Bucharest in 1922).
  2. In 2002, a series of cultural events were held in both Japan and Romania to honour the anniversary of the century-long relationship between the two countries. The anniversary in 2002 was highlighted when H. E. Mr. Ion Iliescu, President of Romania, visited Japan, while from Japanese side, H. I. H. Princess Sayako visited Romania.
  3. In January 2007, Mr. Taro Aso, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, visited Romania. H. E. Mr. Calin Popescu-Tariceanu, Prime Minister of Romania, paid a visit to Japan for the first time as Prime Minister of Romania in February 2007.
  4. In 2009 Japan and Romania celebrated the 50-year anniversary of the resumption of diplomatic relations in 1959. The anniversary in 2009 was highlighted when T.I.H. Prince and Princess Akishino visited Romania.
  5. After the Great East Japan Earthquake occurred in March 2011, Japan received various types of support from the Romanian Government as well as the private sector. In March 2012, H.E. Mr. Traian Basescu, President of Romania, and Mrs. Basescu attended the Ceremony to Commemorate the First Anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake, held in Romania.
  6. In February 2013, "Japan-Romania Foreign Ministers' Joint Statement on the Renewed Partnership between Japan and Romania" was signed during the visit of Mr. Titus Corlatean, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Romania, to Japan.
  7. In January 2018, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, visited Romania for the first time as Prime Minister of Japan, and held a summit meeting with H.E. Mr. Klaus-Werner Iohannis, President of Romania.

Economic Relations

  1. Japan started its economic cooperation activity, such as the Technical Cooperation and Cultural Grant Aid, in 1991, in order to support Romania's transition efforts toward democracy and the market economy. On the occasion of the visit of H. E. Mr. Emil Constantinescu, President of Romania, in 1996, the Government of Japan decided to provide Yen Loan credit and General Grant Aid for Romania. Japanese Yen Loan projects in Romania include "Port of Constanta-South Development Project" (13 bil.yen), "Road Improvement Project" (9 bil. yen), "Railway Rehabilitation Project of Bucharest-Constanta Line" (25.635 bil.yen), and "Turceni Thermal Power Plant Pollution Abatement Project" (29 bil.yen). In March 2010, during his visit to Japan, H.E. Mr. Traian Basescu, President of Romania, signed the Exchange of Notes in relation to the "Bucharest International Airport Rail Access Link Project” (42 bil.yen). Japanese Economic Cooperation was highly appreciated by the Romanian Government and by the Romanian people. It was discontinued at the end of the fiscal year 2011, taking into consideration the economic progress of Romania after it became a member of the European Union.
  2. Japan dispatched Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) between 1997 and 2008, as a form of cooperation at grass-root level. Throughout the period, 112 JOCV members engaged in support programs including educational and medical supports.
  3. The volume of bilateral trade between Japan and Romania amounts to 134 bil. yen in 2018 (45 bil. yen of exports from Japan and 89 bil. yen of imports from Romania). Exports from Japan consist of car components, electrical circuits, motor vehicles etc. while the imports from Romania are largely wood, clothes, wood furniture etc. Japanese investments in Romania have been made mainly in manufacturing, especially in automobile-related industries. Some Japanese companies such as JTI, Koyo Romania, SEWS-R or YAZAKI, have made investments mainly around Bucharest and in the Transylvania region (north-western part of Romania). In 2016, NIDEC completed the acquisition of ANA IMEP, motor appliance manufacturer.
  4. In the field of non-manufacturing, NYK, Honda Trading, BRIDGESTONE, Mitsutoyo, etc. have entered into the Romanian market to aim at its 20 million consumers. Other areas such as agriculture, energy and IT have also drawn attentions from Japanese companies. In 2011, Sumitomo Corporation acquired romanian agricultural wholesaler ALCEDO, and in 2013, NTT DATA purchased EBS, IT company headquartered in Cluj-Napoca.

Cultural Exchanges

  1. Japanese culture is widely regarded with much interest in Romania, and thus it is often the case that Japanese cultural events receive much appreciation and reputation. Heisei Nakamura-za performed Kabuki in Sibiu, Romania with a great success in 2008.
  2. The Japanese language is also getting more and more popular, and currently around 2,000 pupils and students are studying Japanese. University of Bucharest has established MA program in Japanese studies in 2005, and inaugurated the Center for Japanese Studies in 2010. Babes-Bolyai University and the Bucharest University of Economic Studies has opened Japanese Culture Centre in 2017 and in 2018 respectively.
  3. Personal Exchanges have been cultivated between Japan and Romania. As of January 2019, University of Bucharest has concluded an agreement for academic exchanges with 16 Japanese universities. Babes-Bolyai University enjoys partnership with Kobe University and Ehime University.

Recent VIP Visits

1. From Japan to Romania

Year Name
2000 State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Katsuhito Asano
2002 Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Kenshiro Matsunami
President of the House of Councilors, Mr. Hiroyuki Kurata
Princess Sayako
Former Prime Minister, Mr. Tsutomu Hata
2003 President of Japan- Romania Parliamentary Friendship League, Mr. Hakuo Yanagisawa
2004 Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Isao Matsumiya
Minister for Interior and Telecommunications, Mr. Taro Aso
2006 President of Japan- Romania Parliamentary Friendship League, Mr. Hakuo Yanagisawa
2007 Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Taro Aso
2009 T.I.H. Princess and Prince Akishino
2010 A mission dispatched by the Japan Federation of Economic Organizations
2012 Secretary-General of the Japan-Romania Parliamentary Friendship League, Mr. Takashi Ishizeki
2013 Minister for Justice (President of the Japan-Romania Parliamentary Friendship League) Mr. Sadakazu Tanigaki
Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Nobuo Kishi
2017 Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Nobuo Kishi
2018 Prime Minister, Mr. Shinzo Abe

2. From Romania to Japan

Year Name
2001 President of the Senate, Mr. Nicolae Vacaroiu
2002 Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Mircea Geoana
President of Romania, Mr. Ion Iliescu
President of the Chamber of Deputies, Mr. Valer Dorneanu
2003 Minister of Privatization, Mr. Ovidiu Musetescu
Prince Radu
Minister of Culture and Religions, Mr. Razvan Teodorescu
2004 President of Romania-Japan Parliamentary Friendship League, Mr. Corneliu Ciontu
2005 Minister delegate for Public Works and Land Reclamation, Mr. Lazslo Borbely
Minister delegate for Commerce, Mr. Iuliu Winkler
President of Romania, Mr. Traian Basescu
Minister of State, Mr. Gheorghe Copos
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Mihai-Razvan Ungureanu
2006 Minister delegate for Commerce, Mr. Iuliu Winkler
2007 Prime Minister, Mr. Calin Popescu-Tariceanu
2010 President of Romania, Mr. Traian Basescu
2013 Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Titus Corlatean
Minister Delegate for Higher Education, Scientific Research and Technological Development, Mr. Mihnea Cosmin Costoiu
2014 Minister Delegate for Budget, Mr. Liviu Voinea
2015 Minister of Health, Mr. Nicolae Banicioiu
2016 Minister of Public Finance, Ms. Anca Dana Dragu
Minister of Energy, Mr. Victor Vlad Grigorescu
2017 Minister for Business Environment, Commerce and Entrepreneurship, Mr. Ilan Laufer
2018 Minister of Justice, Mr. Tudorel Toader
Minister for Business Environment, Commerce and Entrepreneurship, Mr. Stefan Radu Oprea
Minister of Tourism, Mr. Bogdan Gheorghe Trif
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