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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday evening, the eve of 8 Teves, met with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono in the Knesset. Following are their remarks, which were delivered in the presence of the media.
Prime Minister Netanyahu:
“It’s a pleasure seeing you again. I have to say that when I was elected over 20 years ago for the first time, the first country that I visited in Asia, was Japan. And I said that we have complementary capabilities that could make for a wonderful partnership.
It took us a while, but I think that the visit of Prime Minister Abe here, my visit to Japan and our subsequent contacts – your visit here, marks the discovery of that potential.
I think the future belongs to those who innovate. Japan has tremendous capabilities: scientific, engineering, marketing, industrial; Israel has developed a unique capability in innovation, in every field, every field. And I believe the fact that Japanese companies are coming to Israel, I think expresses that unique partnership which I think has unlimited capabilities.
We both live in challenging regions, but we’re committed to the pursuit of prosperity, security and peace, and I think it’s easier for any one of us to achieve it with the help of the other.
So, in this spirit, I welcome you again, and please send my best wishes also to Prime Minister Abe.”
Japanese Foreign Minister Kono:
“This is my first trip as Foreign Minister to Israel, although this is my fourth trip to Israel.
And thanks to Your Excellency’s visit to Japan, I think the bilateral relationship is expanding. Specially, the number of the Japanese companies in Israel has doubled in the last three years and the investment, Japanese investment into Israel has increased 20 times in the last three years. So I think the relationship, bilaterally, is going very well, and we would like to continue this momentum.
Thank you very much for your support for the 65th anniversary of the bilateral relationship this year, and next year, we’re going to be celebrating the 70th year of the foundation of Israel. And I hope we take this opportunity to strengthen bilateral relationship into the next level.”
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem/Attached photo credit: Kobi Gideon – GPO)