JERUSALEM (Oct. 2)
Shinichi Yanai, the Deputy Foreign Minister of Japan, said here Wednesday that his country would welcome increased and diversified imports from Israel. He spoke at a meeting with Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Ronni Milo, who said his guest’s remarks were a positive development in trade relations between the two countries.
Japan, which exports everything from cars to microchips all over the world has kept a low profile with respect to trade with Israel. It is heavily dependent on Middle East oil. Yanai said, however, that Japan looks with favor on the efforts of some of its large trading companies to help Israeli companies find local partners for joint industrial ventures.
He also spoke favorably of the increasing number of Japanese tourists visiting Israel but did not respond to Milo’s suggestion of direct flights between Tel Aviv and Tokyo. Yanai told reporters after his meeting with Milo that his country believes in free trade which depends only on the initiative of the merchants.
Milo said later that Yanai not only listened to Israeli proposals but made some of his own with respect to trade and investment between their countries.