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      Friendly Relations With Japan

      Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom hosted his Japanese counterpart, Nobutaka Machimura, in Jerusalem on Sunday, noting friendly relations in the present and an optimistic prognosis for the future.
      First Publish: 1/17/2005, 3:40 PM / Last Update: 1/17/2005, 5:34 PM

      Shalom noted that both Japan and Israel are "ancient peoples who have risen from the ashes of the Second World War to build on the platform of our ancient cultures thriving, successful and advanced societies."

      He further noted that Israel and Japan enjoy "warm and friendly relations," with bilateral trade equaling $1.8 billion per year, and with increasing official visits and exchanges. Minister Shalom said that he and his guest "discussed practical ways in which we can promote these ties, including greater cooperation in the sciences, agriculture and hi-tech, greater exchanges in the field of culture, and even closer dialogue on international matters of mutual concern."

      Minister Shalom said he had reiterated Israel's invitation to Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi to visit Israel, as well as Israel's determination to increase bilateral trade with Japan to $3 billion within five years. He noted that Japan will be a member of the UN Security Council for the next two years.