(JNS.org) Israel signed a research and development (R&D) cooperation agreement with Japan for the first time on Sunday. The agreement will allocate funding to projects jointly initiated by Japanese and Israeli companies and research centers.
“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,” said Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, the Jerusalem Post reported. “This agreement represents a breakthrough achievement and a dramatic change in Japanese policy on economic relations with Israel.”
According to Israel’s Foreign Trade Administration, in 2013 Israeli exports to Japan totaled $762 million, while imports to Israel from Japan totaled $1.4 billion. In both cases, the figures were slightly down from 2012, mostly due to a devaluation of the Japanese yen currency. Meanwhile, more than 6,000 Japanese businesspeople attended Israeli economic events in the fields of technology, defense, and cyber security in Tokyo, said Eitan Cooperstein, Israel’s economic attache in that city.
Meanwhile, Japanese Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi is currently leading a business delegation to Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Japan in May.