Middle East

July 20, 2016

Basic Data

Diplomatic Relations:

  • 1953 Diplomatic relations opened
  • 1954 Legation of Japan in Syria opened
  • 1962 Legation of Japan upgraded to Embassy of Japan
  • 1978 Embassy of Syria opened in Tokyo

Japan had dispatched self-defense force to the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in Golan Heights since 1996 until 2013.

Bilateral Treaties and Agreements:

  • 1953 Trade arrangements was signed
  • 1957 Legal assistance agreement was signed
  • 1967 Japan Oversees Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) arrangement was signed
  • 1985 Technical Assistance Agreement was signed

Economic Assistance from Japan to Syria (up to 2012):

  • Loan Assistance: 156.3 billion yen
  • Grant Aid: 30.6 billion yen
  • Technical Assistance: 29.4 billion yen (based on JICA expense)
  • List of Exchange of Notes

As from 2011, taking account of the situation in Syria, Japan has withheld the implementation of new official development aid except for assistance of an emergency or humanitarian nature.

Economic Relations:

  • Exports to Japan: 210 million yen (2012) (cotton wool, soap etc.)
  • Imports from Japan: 9 billion yen (2012) (automobiles, general machinery)

Cultural Exchange:

The Department of Japanese Language and Literature in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, and the Japanese language section in the Higher Language Institute of Damascus University offer Japanese language courses. Japan Center for Academic Cooperation at the University of Aleppo also has Japanese language courses.

Japan also has been promoting and introducing its own culture within Syria and organizes Japan Fair annually in major cities like Damascus and Aleppo.

Friendship Leagues:

  • 1991---Japan-Syria Parliamentary Friendship League
  • 1991---Syrian-Japanese Parliamentary Friendship Association

VIP Visits

From Japan to Syria
Year Name
2000 Minister for Foreign Affairs, Yohei Kono
2001 Deputy Director General of the Defence Agency, Shigeru Ishiwa (January)
Vice Foreign Minister, Seiken Sugiura (August)
2002 Vice Foreign Minister, Toshimitsu Motegi
2003 Minister for Foreign Affairs, Yoriko Kawaguchi (April)
Vice Foreign Minister, Ichiro Aizawa (December)
2007 Vice Foreign Minister, Katsuhito Asano
2009 Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Yasutoshi Nishimura
2010 Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Defence, Akihisa Nagashima
From Syria to Japan
Year Name
2001 Deputy Foreign Minister, Walid Al-Muallem
2002 Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade, Ghassan Al-Rifai
2003 Minister of Electricity, Muneeb Al-Daher
2004 Deputy Foreign Minister, Iisa Darweesh
2009 Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Fayssal Mekdad (January)
Minister of Culture, Riad Naasan Agha (November)
Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Abdullah Dardari (December)

Cultural Grant (cumulative total fiscal 1975-2010)

  • 989.2 million yen (Cultural Grant Aid)
  • 22.5 million yen (Grant Assistance for Cultural Grassroots Projects)
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