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The Prime Minister of the State of Israel, Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, visited Japan on 11 – 14 May 2014 and held a summit meeting with the Prime Minister of Japan, Mr. Shinzo Abe. Both sides confirmed their intention to build a new comprehensive partnership in order to further enhance the bilateral relations as well as to strengthen cooperation on promoting international peace and stability. The following joint statement was issued:

1 Bilateral issues
Both sides confirmed to increase exchanges between the two countries at the levels of Prime Ministers, Ministers and high ranking officials. Having held their first summit dialogue meeting on national security, both sides expressed their expectation to hold the second round on the occasion of Prime Minister Abe's early visit to Israel.
Both sides welcomed the launch of an exchange of views between Japan's National Security Secretariat and Israel's National Security Council and confirmed to hold the next meeting in Israel.
Both sides confirmed the necessity of cooperation in the field of cyber security and expressed their expectation to hold talks between the relevant agencies of the two countries.
Both sides affirmed the importance of bilateral defense cooperation and concurred on increasing the exchanges between the defense authorities of the two countries including exchanges at ministerial level. They concurred with the visit of officers of the Japan Self-Defense Forces to Israel.
Both sides reaffirmed the importance of the bilateral working group on economy. They welcomed the recent visits between the two countries' business circles and the expanded investment, and confirmed to start working on the launch of negotiations on an investment agreement in order to further encourage this trend. Both sides affirmed to make further efforts for exploring a possible cooperation to promote joint industrial research and development.
Both sides expect to increase mutual visits through tourism promotion. Both sides also shared the intention to work on realizing
the already agreed service of direct flights.
Both sides confirmed the importance of cooperation on agriculture and fishery, including trade promotion and exchanges among the two countries' agricultural research institutes. Prime Minister Abe welcomed Prime Minister Netanyahu's decision to lift import restrictions applied by Israel following the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Both sides confirmed their commitment to promote cooperation in
the fields of advanced science and technology and innovation. They
highly appreciated the work of Japan-Israel Science and Technology Joint Committee as well as active exchanges between relevant organizations. For the purpose of expanding further exchanges, they shared the intention
of promoting dialogue through various measures.
Both sides shared the intention to promote exchanges among the two countries' space related agencies.
Both sides acknowledged that empowering women is vital to realize sustainable and healthy economic and social development, and stressed the importance to promote cooperation in this field.
Both sides confirmed the launch of consultations to introduce the Working Holiday Visa program to promote youth exchanges. They affirmed cooperation on increasing exchanges between members of the Diet and Knesset, and enlarging educational exchanges including increasing the number of students studying in each other's country.
Prime Minister Netanyahu welcomed the program of "Sport for Tomorrow" launched by Japan toward the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic games.
Both sides emphasized the importance of the extensive and active cultural cooperation and confirmed to seek new exchange opportunities based on the rich cultural heritage of both nations.
Both sides shared the view to encourage exchanges of food culture through both embassies in Japan and Israel.

2 Cooperation for regional stability
Both sides affirmed the importance of universal values such as freedom, democracy, human-rights, and rule of law, and confirmed to strengthen their dialogue and cooperation toward peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific and Middle Eastern regions. Prime Minister Abe expressed Japan's determination to contribute even more actively in securing peace, stability and prosperity of the region and the international community, through the policy of "Proactive Contribution to Peace" based on the principle of international cooperation, while Prime Minister Netanyahu welcomed such a policy.
Both sides emphasized the necessity for achieving peace through a "two-state solution" toward stability and prosperity of the Middle Eastern region. Prime Minister Abe called upon all concerned parties to further endeavor to advance the direct negotiations and expressed his intention to make best efforts for achieving peace.

Prime Minister Abe also presented the development of Japan's initiatives for "the Corridor for Peace and Prosperity", including Jericho Agricultural Industrial park (JAIP), and requested Israel to offer further assistance on the issue of possible access routes from the site to Jordan in order to promote JAIP's activities. Prime Minister Netanyahu welcomed further active roles of Japan in the Middle East peace process and expressed his intention to cooperate on the development of Japan's initiatives for "the Corridor for Peace and Prosperity".
Both sides emphasized the significance of Japan's confidence-
building measures such as invitation programs for the Israeli and Palestinian youth, sports exchanges, trilateral cooperation among Japan and Israel for regional economic development and so forth.
Both sides concurred as to the necessity to achieve a real solution of the Iranian nuclear issue.
Both sides expressed their grave concern on the current situation in Syria and stressed the importance of improving the humanitarian situation as well as achieving political solution.
Prime Minister Abe expressed his determination to strengthen support for the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) deployed in the Sinai Peninsula so as to further contribute to regional stability. Prime Minister Netanyahu appreciated this effort.
Both sides stressed their opposition to terrorism.
Both sides exchanged views on the security environment in East Asia, which is becoming more challenging, and confirmed the importance to maintain peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. Particularly, they expressed their strong hope for the early resolution of various issues of concerns regarding North Korea, including its nuclear development, missile development and the abductions issue.

Tokyo, 12 May 2014

Shinzo Abe                                                                           Benjamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister of Japan                                          Prime Minister of the State of Israel

 

Photo  : Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) meets with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the start of their meeting at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo May 12, 2014. REUTERS/Toru Hanai 

 Photo courtesy of Japan Embassy

 

 

 

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President Rivlin welcomed her and said, “You are a dear friend of Israel. We appreciate your strong stand on the world’s most important stage, in support of the security of the people and the State of Israel. With your support we see the beginning of a new era. Israel is no longer alone at the UN. Israel is no longer the UN’s punching bag.”

He continued, “When I spoke at the UN on Holocaust Memorial Day, I said that the UN must learn from the lessons of the past, and stand up against hatred and racism. I said it must end its obsession with targeting Israel. Progress has been made. Israel’s standing at the UN has improved. But sadly, we have a long way to go. Both in holding to account, public statements made by officials, and in supporting regulation to reduce the ridiculous number of discussions and resolutions against Israel. This is also true in the Human Rights Council - which has been hijacked as a weapon against Israel - and in UNESCO, where they seek to rub out the history of the Jewish people.”

The President thanked the Ambassador for her great contribution to the State of Israel, and said, “Ambassador Haley, as the representative the US - Israel’s greatest and strongest ally - we appreciate very much your support of Israel, and all you do to stand up for the values of freedom and democracy which we share. Welcome to Israel, welcome to Jerusalem.”

Ambassador Haley thanked the President for his warm welcome and said, “Thank you Mr. President for taking the time to meet with us, it is an absolute thrill to be here in Israel, I so much appreciate the support we have received from the people of Israel. But I feel somewhat guilty because all I did at the United Nations was tell the truth. I have never taken kindly to bullies, and the UN has bullied Israel for a very long time, and we are not going to let that happen anymore. It is a new day for Israel in the United Nations. We just got back from Geneva, talking about the Human Rights Council and hopefully it will be a new day at the Human Rights Council when it comes to Israel.”

She concluded by saying she was greatly looking forward to her visit to Israel and said, “I am looking forward to taking in the history, the beauty, the tradition, and all that comes with the magic of Israel. Thank you very much for having me it is a pleasure to be here.”

Photo credit: Mark Neiman (GPO)

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