Japan’s Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko (AP/Yong Teck Lim)

The visit “constitutes another milestone in strengthening economic relations between Israel and one of the most significant economies in the world,” Israel’s Ministry of Economy stated.

By Aryeh Savir, TPS

The largest-ever Japanese business delegation to land in Israel arrived on Sunday, ahead of the Japan Israel Innovation Network (JIIN) summit.

The delegation, headed by Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko, includes 150 representatives from 90 companies, including Mitsubishi, Toshiba and Hitachi. A business seminar was held Monday, ahead of the summit.

This is Seko’s second visit to the Jewish state as Minister of Economy. He will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Economy and Industry Minister Eli Cohen and will participate in various business events to strengthen economic cooperation between the two countries.

The JIIN meetings will be held in Jerusalem on Tuesday and will include a series of economic meetings between Israel and Japan as well as a business forum led by Seko and Cohen.

The JIIN is a platform was established by the two economic ministers in May 2017. The Japanese visit includes three days of activity. The first features tours of innovation centers and visits to leading Israeli companies in the fields of cyber technology, life sciences, artificial intelligence and virtual reality.

During the week, the two economic ministers will also discuss the strengthening of economic ties, the continuation of the cooperation and the work plan for 2019.

A series of agreements are expected to be signed between Israeli and Japanese companies, and a Memorandum of Understanding will be signed in the field of digital health, as well as cooperation between the countries in the fields of vehicle and cyber technology.

The visit “constitutes another milestone in strengthening economic relations between Israel and one of the most significant economies in the world. Such cooperation will lead the Israeli economy forward for many years,” Israel’s Ministry of Economy stated.

Israel and Japan are experiencing record-breaking trade and economic ties. The number of Japanese companies investing and operating in Israel has increased considerably in recent years, with Japanese investments totaling $ 3.5 billion over the past five years, including deals such as the acquisition of Israeli company NeuroDerm by Mitsubishi Tannabe Pharma in 2017 for $ 1.17 billion, the acquisition of Altair in 2016 by Sony, and the $200 million investment of the Softbank group in Israeli companies. The number of Japanese companies that opened offices in Israel has grown to over 70.

Israeli exports to Japan in the first three fiscal quarters of 2018 stood at $870 million, a 46-percent increase compared to the same period in 2017. Israeli imports from Japan were valued at $1.51 billion during that time, a seven-percent increase since 2017.