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February 2011

History of the Bilateral Relationship

(1) Japan and Switzerland have been on friendly terms since the conclusion of the "Treaty of Amity and Trade" in 1864. Legations, which later were raised to the status of an embassy, were established in 1916 on a reciprocal basis. Switzerland represented Japan's interest toward the Allied Nations during the Second World War.

(2) Exchanges at the governmental level are active. Both countries have agreed that, starting in 1994, ad hoc political meetings should be convened between them. A meeting on economic affairs has been held regularly since 1995, while meetings on political affairs have been held three times.

(3) An emergency disaster rescue team comprising 25 people was dispatched in January 1995, together with 12 dogs specially trained for disaster relief in the wake of the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake. This warm offering was deeply appreciated by the Government of Japan and the Japanese people.

(4) Both countries agreed to start the negotiation for an Economic Partnership Agreement in January 2007, and held the first negotiation in May in Tokyo.

Number of Residents

  • Japanese Nationals residing in Switzerland: 6,887 (October 2005)
  • Swiss Nationals residing in Japan: 1,406 (August 2005)

Economic Relations

  • Exports: 237.7 billion yen (automobiles, digital cameras, etc.)
  • Imports: 557.1 billion yen (watches, pharmaceutical products, etc.)
  • Direct Investment from Japan: 102.1 billion yen ('05)
  • Direct Investment from Switzerland: 265.9 billion yen ('05)

VIP Visits

From Japan to Switzerland
Year Name
1994 Speaker of the House of Representatives Ms. Takako Doi
Director-General of the Science and Technology Agency Ms. Makiko Tanaka
1995 Minister of Education Mr. Kaoru Yosano
1996 Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Takamado
1998 Keidanren Mission
1999 Minister of International Trade and Industry Mr. Takashi Fukaya
2000 Their Majesties Emperor and Empress
2001 Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Mr. Yoshio Yatsu
Minister of State for Administrative Reform, Regulatory Reform, and former Prime Minister Mr. Ryutaro Hashimoto
Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori
2005 Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Mr. Shouichi Nakagawa

Cultural Exchanges

Japanese traditional culture, the performing arts and sports are drawing people's attention in Switzerland at an increasing scale. Some events,including the "Japan Week" in Geneva, have been held.

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