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Japan signs first ever industrial agreement with Israel

By Mason White 4:09 PM July 7, 2014
Toshimitsu Motegi and Naftali Bennett 

By: Aryeh Savir
Japan and Israel strengthen its economic ties this week, by signing their first ever industrial agreement, the Tazpit News Agency reported.

Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Toshimitsu Motegi, arrived in Israel on Sunday, with a delegation of Japanese industrialists and signed the industrial research and development (R&D) collaboration agreement with Israel’s Minister of Economy Naftali Bennett.

Israel is the first country with which Japan has signed such an agreement.

The delegation came to Israel following an invitation by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom Motegi met during Netanyahu’s recent visit to Japan. The Japanese minister is heading a delegation including top level representatives of the Japanese industry as well as senior representatives of Japan’s Ministry of Economics, Trade and Industry, which oversees Japanese industry, industrial R&D, and cyber technology.

Minister Motegi and Israel’s Minister of Economy Naftali Bennett signed the collaboration agreement for reciprocal support in joint industrial R&D projects between Israeli and Japanese companies and organizations. The agreement will be implemented by the Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) in the Israeli Ministry of Economy.

The delegation will also participate in a seminar in which opportunities for commercial cooperation between the two states will be presented. The seminar, organized by the Foreign Trade Administration at the Israeli Ministry of Economy and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), will be presided over by Minister Motegi and the Director-General of Israel’s Ministry of Economy Amit Lang. Participants include Israeli business people and representatives of the Japanese companies in the delegation.

“We are constantly looking for ways to strengthen our economic ties throughout the world, as exemplified by this R&D agreement,” Minister Bennett said. “This is a breakthrough achievement. The agreement creates an excellent platform for joint initiatives, innovation and for Israeli companies to enter the Japanese market.”

“Over the past year, the Japanese business sector’s interest in Israel and in cooperation with Israeli businesses has grown, in particular in the homeland security sector, including cyber-security,” said Eitan Kuperstoch, Israel’s commercial attache to Tokyo. “In the past year alone, more than 6,000 Japanese businesspeople have participated in events organized by the commercial attaches of the Israeli Ministry of Economy.”

In recent months, three Japanese business delegations arrived in Israel, most notably the Keidanren Japan Business Federation.