Shalom Life | July 01, 2014

Israel Becomes Japan’s First R&D Cooperation Agreement Partner

Agreement to fund joint research & development projects a first for Japan

By: J.S. Côté

Published: July 8th, 2014 in Business » World

Japan and Israel signed a research and development cooperation agreement that will help open Japanese markets to Israeli companies on Sunday.

The agreement, the first of its kind for Japan, comes as Japanese Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi leads a business delegation to Israel. The cooperation will provide funding for R&D projects taken on together by Japanese and Israeli companies and research centres.

“We continue our efforts to strengthen economic ties with the countries of East Asia,” said Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennet before signing the agreement, “one manifestation of which is the agreement for parallel support of industrial R&D carried out jointly between Japan and Israel.”

“This agreement,” he added, “represents a breakthrough achievement and a dramatic change in Japanese policy on economic relations with Israel.”

Motegi’s delegation follows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Japan in May, in which he tried to shore up economic cooperation while dispersing lingering fears that doing business with Israel would invite criticism and boycott from the Arab states.

The Foreign Trade Administration reports that Israeli exports to Japan totaled $762 million in 2013, down 20% from $953 million in 2013. The decline is partially due to the drastic devaluation of the Japanese yen, which lost 25% of its value in just 10 months.

Imports of Japanese goods to Israel were also down from $2.08 billion in 2012, compared to $1.4 billion in 2013.

According to Israel’s economic attache in Tokyo, Eitan Cooperstein, over 6,000 Japanese business people attended its events this past year, with interests mainly in the fields of defense, technology, and cyber security.

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