Israel’s Defense Ministry on Wednesday inaugurated its first-ever national pavilion in Japan, at the Defense and Security Equipment International (DSEI) exhibition taking place in Tokyo between March 15 and 17.
SIBAT, the ministry’s International Defense Cooperation Directorate, is leading the delegation of 14 Israeli defense industries to the exhibition. The innovations being presented cover many fields, including unmanned aerial systems, land systems, rocket and missile systems, communication and targeting technologies and more.
“We are happy to participate in the DSEI defense exhibition and to inaugurate Israel’s first national pavilion in Japan, constituting an additional step in deepening our defense cooperation,” said the head of SIBAT, Brig. Gen. (ret.) Yair Kulas.
“Despite the physical distance between Israel and Japan, we share many similarities as technology-oriented and innovation-driven nations. The Israeli defense industries participating in the exhibition each bring their own unique technological solutions to the table here, many of them the leading of their kind in the world,” he added.
The Israeli firms participating in the exhibition include Copterpix, CTI-INTL Solutions, Elbit Systems, Gate Technologies, IAI-Israel Aerospace Industries, Magna BSP, Manta Air, Ophir Optronic Solutions, Orbit Communication Systems, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, RT LTA Systems, Smartshooter, Steadicopter and Trekace Technologies.
In February, SIBAT inaugurated its first-ever national pavilion at the International Defense Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) in the United Arab Emirates.
As part of joint efforts to strengthen relations with the Abraham Accords countries, SIBAT led a delegation of more than 30 Israeli companies at the biennial event, which ran Feb. 20-24. The arms and defense technology sales exhibition in Abu Dhabi is the largest in the Middle East.
With respect to Japan, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke last month with his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida, with the two leaders discussing the importance of advancing bilateral relations, in particular by deepening economic and security ties.
Netanyahu and Kishida also paid tribute to this year’s 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between their countries.
The Israeli premier invited Kishida to visit Israel.
Jerusalem and Tokyo agreed in November to move towards signing a free trade agreement, which then-Prime Minister Yair Lapid said would entail “discounts for products and goods from Japan for the benefit of the Israeli market and increasing Israeli exports to Japan, the third-largest economy in the world.”
In August, then-Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada signed a “Memorandum for Defense Cooperation” in Tokyo.
The agreement will enable the respective countries to widen defense, strategic and military exchanges.
“Minister, our countries share this common goal—defending our homes, seeking peace and stability. Cooperation between Israel and Japan in developing technology and sharing knowledge will enable us to achieve our common vision,” said Gantz.
The following month, Tokyo announced plans to deploy Israeli- and U.S.-made attack drones in 2023 to defend isolated islands. The American-made Switchblade and the Israel Aerospace Industries’ Harop drone are expected to be deployed.