Japan-Israel Relations

October 13, 2020

Basic Data

General

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1952, Japan and Israel have steadily developed the bilateral relationship. The growing relations are represented in frequent VIP visits between the two countries such as Prime Ministers, Foreign Ministers and other Ministers.

Exchanges have deepened and broadened not only in the political area but also in such areas as bilateral trade, cultural and intellectual exchanges, and cooperation in science and technology.
Japan-Israel relations have gone beyond the purely bilateral meaning and have assumed major significance for progress in the peace process as well. During his visit to Israel in 2006, Prime Minister Koizumi proposed a concept of the "Corridor for Peace and Prosperity", which aims at creating a prosperous region through regional cooperation in the Jordan Rift Valley. Japan's such contributions to the Middle East peace process have won high praise from both Israel and Arab countries.

Diplomatic Relations:

Year  
1952 Japan recognizes Israel
Israeli legation opens in Tokyo
1954 Japan's ambassador to Turkey was concurrently posted as a minister to Israel
1955 Japan's legation opens in Tel Aviv
1963 Both legations are upgraded to embassies

Bilateral Treaties and Agreements

Year  
1971 Visa Exemption Arrangements
1993 Convention between Japan and the State of Israel for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income
1994 Culture and Education Arrangements
1995 Agreement between the Government of Japan and the Government of the State of Israel on Cooperation in Science and Technology
2000 Agreement between the Government of Japan and the Government of the State of Israel for Air Services
2017 Agreement between Japan and the State of Israel for the Liberalization, Promotion and Protection of Investment

Number of Residents

  • Number of Japanese Nationals residing in Israel: 1,085 (as of October 2018)
  • Number of Israeli Nationals residing in Japan: 622 (as of December 2019)

Economic Relations (Exports and Imports, 2018)

  • Israel exports to Japan: $1.4 billion (electrical equipment, chemical products, general machinery, scientific and optical instruments)
  • Israel imports from Japan: $2.16 billion (general machinery, transportation machinery, chemical products, electrical equipment)

Scientific, Technological, and Cultural Exchange

There is a lively exchange between scientists of both nations through ongoing joint projects and academic exchanges among universities.

  • (1) Exchange Programs and Academic Exchanges
    • 1987 Israeli youths and Japanese youths were exchanged as a General Affairs Agency project.
    • Since 1989, 5-8 Israeli youths are invited for training visit every year as a Middle East Youths Invitation Program.
    • In 1992-1993 Japan Cultural Festival was implemented.
    • 1993 Intellectual exchange started.
    • 1998 Research exchange started.
  • (2) Prizes
    • 1985 Japan Prize was awarded to Former President Ephraim Katzir
    • Wolf Prizes were awarded to: KODAIRA Kunihiko (1984), HAYAISHI Osamu (1986), ITO Kiyoshi (1987), MAKI Fumihiko (1988), NAMBU Yoichiro (1994) NIAHIZUKA Yasutomi ( 1995), KOSHIBA Masatoshi (2000), NOYORI Ryoji (2001), SATO Mikio (2003), YAMANAKA Shinya (2011), FUJITA Makoto (2018)
    • Gold Award (the best work) of Japan International MANGA Award were commended to: “The Divine” by Asaf Hanuka & Tomer Hanuka (Artist) and Boaz Lavie (Story Artist) (9th Award, FY2015), “Piece of Mind” by Guy Lenman(Artist) and Nimrod Frydman(Story Writer)(13th Award, FY2019)
  • (3) Cultural Exchanges
    • Israel Philharmonic Orchestra performed in Japan (2000, 2003, 2007, 2010, 2014)
    • 2006 Sadogatake Stable, a stable of sumo wrestling, toured in Israel
    • 2012 on the occasion of 60th anniversary of the establishment of Japan -Israel diplomatic relations, many cultural event were held in both countries, among them the Japan-Israel joint production contemporary theater performance The Trojan Women directed by NINAGAWA Yukio.
    • 2014 "Jerusalem Japan Week" was held in Jerusalem
    • 2015 "Israel Culture Weekend in Kyoto" was held in Kyoto
    • Japan Cultural Envoys appointed by the Agency for Cultural Affairs were dispatched to Israel: YASUDA Yasutoshi (Igo/Shogi Specialist, FY2010), NODA Tetsuya (Fine Art Print Specialist, FY2010) , USUDA Tousen (Japanese Calligrapher, Kokuji Artisa, FY2011), MORIYAMA Mirai (Actor, FY2013), YAMADA Un (Choreographer, Dancer, FY2016)

Friendship Leagues:

  • 1965 Japan-Israel Friendship Association
  • 1984 Japan-Israel Parliamentary Friendship League
  • 1996 Japan-Israel Chamber of Commerce

VIP Visits (Since 2000)

To Israel
Year Name
2000 Senior State Secretary for Foreign Affairs AZUMA Shozo (March)
2001 Deputy Secretary of Defense ISHIBA Shigeru (January)
Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs SUGIURA Seiken (July)
House of Representative Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Director SUZUKI Muneo (August)
2002 Members of Liberal Democratic Party headed by Chief Secretary YAMAZAKI Taku (May)
Foreign Minister KAWAGUCHI Yoriko (June)
2003 Foreign Minister KAWAGUCHI Yoriko (April)
Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs MOTEGI Toshimitsu (June)
2004 Special ambassador KAWAGUCHI Yoriko (November)
Parliamentary-Secretary for Foreign Affairs FUKUSHIMA Tetsushiro (December)
2005 Foreign Minister MACHIMURA Nobutaka (January)
Members of Democratic Party headed by OKADA Katsuya (April)
Members of Japan-Israel Parliamentary League headed by NAKAYAMA Yasuhide (April)
2006 Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs ITO Shintaro (January)
Prime Minister KOIZUMI Junichiro (June)
Vice-Minister for Agriculture MIURA Issui (May)
Deputy Secretary of Defense KIMURA Takahide (January)
Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs ITO Shintaro (August)
Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister of Defense KIMURA Takahide (December)
2007 Assistant to Prime Minister Minister KOIKE Yuriko (May)
Foreign Minister ASO Taro (August)
2008 Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs NAKAYAMA Yasuhide (May)
2010 Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Defence NAGASHIMA Akihisa (May)
State Secretary for Foreign Affairs TAKEMASA Koichi (August)
2011 State Secretary for Foreign Affairs BANNO Yutaka (June)
2012 Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs YAMANE Ryuji (January)
Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Defence JINPU Hideo (April)
Foreign Minister GEMBA Koichiro (May)
National Public Safety Commission Chairman MATSUBARA Jin (September)
Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Defence OONO Motohiro (November)
2013 Foreign Minister KISHIDA Fumio (July)
2014 Minister of Economy, Trade & Industry MOTEGI Toshimitsu (July)
Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications SHINDO Yoshitaka (July)
Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs SONOURA Kentaro (October)
2015 Prime Minister ABE Shinzo (January)
State Minister for Foreign Affairs NAKAYAMA Yasuhide (January, June)
2016 State Minister for Foreign Affairs SONOURA Kentaro (September)
Special Envoy of the Prime Minister NAKATANI Gen (September)
2017 Minister in charge of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games MARUKAWA Tamayo (April)
Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry SEKO Hiroshige (May)
Minister in charge of Information Technology Policy TSURUHO Yosuke (May)
Foreign Minister KONO Taro (December)
2018 Prime Minister ABE Shinzo (May)
2019 Minister in charge of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games SAKURADA Yoshitaka (January)
Minister of Economy, Trade & Industry SEKO Hiroshige (January)
Minister of State for the Promotion of Overcoming Population Decline and Vitalizing Local Economy in Japan KATAYAMA Satsuki (May)
Members of Foreign Affairs Committee, House of Representatives, headed by WAKAMIYA Kenji (August)
State Minister for Foreign Affairs SUZUKI Keisuke (December)
To Japan
Year Name
2000 Minister of Communications Ben Eliezer (June)
Minister of Regional Cooperation Shimon Peres (August)
2001 Minister of Justice Meir Sheetrit (December)
2002 Minister of Environment Tzahi Hanegbi (January)
Minister of Communications Reuven Rivlin (August)
2003 Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Silvan Shalom (September)
2004 Israel-Japan Friendship League Ehud Rassabi (September)
2005 Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and Trade Ehud Olmert (April)
2006 Israel Police Commissioner Moshe Karadi (February)
2007 Vice Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni (January)
Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer (February)
Vice-Prime Minister and in Charge of Negev and Galilee Region Development Shimon Peres (March)
Minister of Tourism Yitzhak Aharonovitch (August)
2008 Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (February)
Environmental Conservation Minister Gideon Ezra (July)
Minister or Interior Meir Sheetrit (October)
2010 Deputy Prime Minister and minister of Intelligence Dan Meridor (April)
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Liberman (May)
Vice Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon (November)
2011 Minister of Home Front Defense Matan Vilnai (October)
2012 Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Ehud Barak (February)
Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer (October)
2013 Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Yair Shamir (October)
2014 Minister of Public Security Yitzhak Aharonovitch (February)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (May)
Minister of Science, Technology, and Space Yaakov Perry (October)
Minister of Education Shai Piron (November)
2015 Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Hotovely (August)
2017 Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon (January)
Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Michael Oren (January)
Minister of Science, Technology and Space Ofir Akunis (March)
Minister of Culture and Sport Miri Regev (March)
Minister of Transportation and Road Safety; Minister of Intelligence Israel Katz (October)
Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked (November)
Minister of Economy and Industry Eli Cohen (November)
2018 Minister of Regional Cooperation Tzachi Hanegbi (March)
Minister of Construction and Housing Yoav Galant (May)
2019 Attorney General, Ministry of Justice Avihai Mandelblit (May)
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