Japanese economy minister Toshimitsu Motegi leads delegation to Israel

Japan and Israel will sign an R&D collaboration agreement.


The Japan Growth Context: Toshimitsu Motegi

Japanese Minister of the Economy, Trade and Industry Toshimitsu Motegi arrived in Israel this morning for an official visit. The visit came about through an invitation made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he met the minister on his recent visit to Japan. Motegi heads a delegation of senior officials of his ministry (which has responsibility for Japanese industry, industrial research and development and promoting cyber technology) and representatives of Japanese firms.

The Japanese delegation will participate in a seminar at which opportunities for economic and commercial cooperation between the two countries will be presented. The seminar is organized by the Foreign Trade Administration in the Ministry of the Economy and JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization).

Minister of the Economy Naftali Bennett welcomed the visit, saying, “We continue our efforts to strengthen economic ties with the countries of East Asia, one manifestation of which is the agreement for parallel support of industrial R&D carried out jointly between Japan and Israel. This agreement represents a breakthrough achievement and a dramatic change in Japanese policy on economic relations with Israel. International R&D collaborations are a lever of the utmost importance for Israeli companies seeking to break into new markets, and this agreement, which will be signed in the course of the visit, will be a platform for joint initiatives and promoting innovation. The agreement will give Israeli companies access to the Japanese market.”

The Foreign Trade Administration reports that Israeli exports to Japan totaled $762 million in 2013, down 20% from $953 million in 2012. One reason for the decline is the drastic devaluation of the Japanese yen, which lost 25% of its value in ten months. Imports to Israel of Japanese goods totaled $1.4 billion in 2013, compared with $2.08 billion in 2012.

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