January 19, 2015 — New York, NY
AJC warmly welcomes Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Israel. It is the first trip to Israel by a Japanese prime minister since 2006, and follows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s successful visit to Japan last year.
“Prime Minister Abe’s presence in Israel confirms the vibrancy of the Japanese-Israeli relationship, as well as the potential for a further, dramatic expansion of ties,” said Shira Loewenberg, Director of AJC’s Asia Pacific Institute. “During our own recent visit to Tokyo, we underscored the importance of this critically important, and mutually beneficial, relationship, and witnessed the deep interest in Israel among the Japanese leadership.”
Accompanying Prime Minister Abe on his three-day visit is a delegation of more than 100 government officials and presidents of Japanese companies.
“Taking the opportunity of the visit by Prime Minister Netanyahu to Japan last year, we are now seeing steady progress in the development of our bilateral relationship in a comprehensive manner,” said the Japanese leader, who also spoke enthusiastically about “the great passion shared by the Japanese business community, major corporations and small to medium enterprises, as well as the independent administrative organs.”
For his part, Prime Minister Netanyahu stressed that “there are many economic areas, technological areas and other areas in which we can cooperate, and I look forward to doing that for the benefit of both our peoples.”
An AJC leadership delegation led by President Stanley Bergman and Executive Director David Harris met with Prime Minister Abe during a three-day visit to Tokyo in October, the second visit to Japan in 2014 and one of many by AJC over the past 25 years.
“We are delighted to see the deepening links between Tokyo and Jerusalem, highlighted by the close personal relationship of Japanese Prime Minister Abe and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, who have identified a number of key areas for closer cooperation,” Harris said at the time.
Through its Asia Pacific Institute, founded in 1989, AJC has been actively engaged with Japan, and maintains close ties with Japanese officials and other representatives in Tokyo, across the United States, in Israel, and other countries. Last week, AJC announced the appointment of a representative, Jerome Rosenberg, in Tokyo to help further advance relations.