Japan's business leaders come to learn 'chutzpah'

In a sign of ever growing bond, Japan Association of Corporate Executives picks Israel as first destination to learn key to innovation.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Rivlin with the Japanese business leaders
Rivlin with the Japanese business leaders
Mark Neyman/GPO

President Reuven Rivlin on Sunday met with a visiting delegation from the Keizai Doyukai, the Japan Association of Corporate Executives, as the leading captains of industry from the Land of the Rising Sun spend time in the Jewish state.

Leading the 16-strong delegation of corporate presidents and executives from Japan's largest businesses is Dr. Yoshimitsu Kobayashi, chairman of the Keizai Doyukai and chairman of Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation.

The delegation is currently in Israel with a goal of learning how Israeli innovation developed and what has caused its success.

In a significant step, members of the organization chose Israel as the first destination for a trip by the Keizai Doyukai outside of Japan.

"It is a great pride for us that you chose to visit us as a first destination," Rivlin told the Japanese executives. "Some of you have been here in the past and even studied here. Everyone knows that Israel isn't rich in natural resources, and despite that, we merit to enjoy our greatest resource, the human mind."

"Innovation and initiative is the Israeli way to make the impossible possible. For us, Israelis and Japanese, there is a lot in common in this topic as well. It is a great joy to cooperate with you."

As indicated by Rivlin, aside from showing the power of Israeli innovation, the decision to first visit Israel also highlights the growing bonds between Israel and Japan.

The two nations have become key allies through a rapid series of mutual agreements and meetings that were set off in May 2014 when Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu held an official visit to Japan. The visit was reciprocated in January 2015, when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made an historic visit to the Jewish state.

Dr. Kobayashi, chairman of the Keizai Doyukai, thanked Rivlin for his hospitality and said, "I studied here and I visited Israel several times and I dreamed of returning - this morning we realized a dream."

"There is nothing more important than the human mind, and therefore Japan and Israel can together bring good and innovation to the world."

Kobayashi added that during a visit to an Israeli company on Sunday morning, the delegations were given their answer as to the source of Israel's success in the field of innovation.

"In Israel, there is no such thing as impossible, thanks to Israeli chutzpah," he said with a smile, using a Hebrew term meaning both audacity and insolence.