Japan-Israel Relations

May 12, 2017

Basic Data


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:

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

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

Number of Residents

  • Number of Japanese Nationals residing in Israel: 1011 (as of October 2015)
  • Number of Israeli Nationals residing in Japan: 520 (as of 2015)

Economic Relations (Exports and Imports, 2015)

  • Israel exports to Japan: $1.50 billion (electrical equipment, chemical products, polished diamonds)
  • Israel imports from Japan: $1.16 billion (automobiles, chemical products, machinery, electrical equipment)

Economic Cooperation

Because Israel's per capita GDP and technological level are high, Japan does not in principle extend official assistance to Israel.

Scientific, Technological, and Cultural Exchange

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

  • 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.
  • 1985 Japan Prize was awarded to Former President Ephraim Katzir
  • Wolf Prizes were awarded to: Kunihiko Kodaira (1984) Osamu Hayaishi (1986) Kiyoshi Ito (1987) Fumihiko Maki (1988) Yoichiro Nambu (1994) Yasutomi Nishizuka ( 1995) Masatoshi Koshiba (2000) Ryoji Noyori (2001) Mikio Sato (2003) Shinya Yamanaka (2011)
  • Israel Philharmonic Orchestra performed in Japan (2000, 2003, 2007, 2010, 2014)
  • 2006 Sadogatake Stable, a stable of sumo wrestling, toured in Israel
  • 2012 Japan and Israel celebrated the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations in both countries.
  • 2014 "Jerusalem Japan Week" was held in Jerusalem
  • 2015 "Israel Culture Weekend in Kyoto" was held in Kyoto

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 Shozo Azuma (March)
2001 Deputy Secretary of Defense Shigeru Ishiba (January)
Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Seiken Sugiura (July)
House of Representative Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Director Muneo Suzuki (August)
2002 Members of Liberal Democratic Party headed by Chief Secretary Taku Yamazaki (May)
Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi (June)
2003 Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi (April)
Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Toshimitsu Motegi (June)
2004 Special ambassador Yoriko Kawaguchi (November)
Parliamentary-Secretary for Foreign Affairs Tetsushiro Fukushima (December)
2005 Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura (January)
Members of Democratic Party headed by Katsuya Okada (April)
Members of Japan-Israel Parliamentary League (headed by Yasuhide Nakayama) (April)
2006 Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Shintaro Ito (January)
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi (June)
Vice-Minister for Agriculture Issui Miura (May)
Deputy Secretary of Defense Takahide Kimura (January)
Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Shintaro Ito (August)
Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister of Defense Takahide Kimura (December)
2007 Assistant to Prime Minister Minister Yuriko Koike (May)
Foreign Minister Taro Aso (August)
2008 Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Yasuhide Nakayama (May)
2010 Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Defence Akihisa Nagashima (May)
State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Koichi Takemasa (August)
2011 State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Yutaka Banno (June)
2012 Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Ryuji Yamane (January)
Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Defence Hideo Jinpu (April)
Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba (May)
National Public Safety Commission Chairman Jin Matsubara (September)
Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Defence Motohiro Oono (November)
2013 Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida (July)
2014 Minister of Economy, Trade & Industry Toshimitsu Motegi (July)
Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Yoshitaka Shindo (July)
Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Kentaro Sonoura (October)
2015 Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (January)
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Yasuhide Nakayama (January, June)
2016 State Minister for Foreign Affairs Kentaro Sonoura (September)
Special Envoy of the Prime Minister Gen Nakatani (September)
2017 Minister in charge of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games Tamayo Marukawa (April)
Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko (May)
Minister in charge of Information Technology Policy Yosuke Tsuruho (May)
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)
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