Israeli Delegation to Solidify Japanese Alliance

50-day visit of leading government and industrial representatives sets out as Japanese trade booms.

Ari Yashar,

Binyamin Netanyahu, Shinzo Abe
Binyamin Netanyahu, Shinzo Abe
Kobi Gideon/GPO/Flash 90

As ties with its traditional ally America continue to show signs of souring, Israel continues to turn east as Prime Minister's Office Director-General Harel Locker on Monday left for Japan leading a delegation of 30 senior representatives.

The official visit, which according to Calcalist will last 50 days, follows on the heels of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's May visit, the signing of an Industrial R&D Agreement in July which is the first such agreement Japan has signed, and a visit last month by Japan's Deputy Foreign Minister for Jerusalem's Japanese Culture Week.

The delegation leaving on Monday aims to deepen economic ties between the two countries even further, and it will present Israeli technology to large Japanese corporations, in an effort for greater cooperation timed ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Other aims of the visit include establishing direct flights between Israel and Japan, encouraging Japanese research and development centers in Israel, and having a reciprocal delegation sent to Israel from the Japanese industry.

Those goals are being acted on as Japanese companies are increasingly showing interest in the Israeli market, and the Israeli Embassy recently responded by marketing travel to Israel for the Japanese in an innovative Japanese anime cartoon.

In meeting with senior figures from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's office, the Japanese parliament and finance ministry, Locker will be joined by leading representatives from governmental and industrial offices.

Representatives will include members of the aerial industries, Elbit, Rafael, Teva, IBM, Amdocs, EMC, Q Core Medical, SecurityDAM, and 3M Israel.

Japan's interest in Israel has been growing, as seen in the massive Japanese online store Rakuten's recent purchase of the Israeli company Viber for $950 million, reports The MarkerLikewise it was reported last week that the Japanese Kurita Water Industries bought an Israeli water treatment company for $320 million.

According to export figures, in the first half of 2014 commerce between Israel and Japan rose 11%, ending at $954 million as opposed to $856 million in the parallel period of 2013. Export to Japan rose by 10%, reaching $342 million, and import rose 12% figuring in at $612 million.




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