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January 16, 2019 1:14 pm

Israeli PM Hails Burgeoning Economic Ties With Japan, Amid Reported Free Trade Deal Talks

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The skyline of the Japanese capital of Tokyo. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Israel and Japan are currently negotiating free trade agreement, the financial newspaper Calcalist reported on Tuesday.

The report came as a delegation of senior Japanese businesspeople — led by Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko — visited Israel.

Seko held meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Economy and Industry Minister Eli Cohen.

“There’s been a tremendous increase in Japanese investments in Israel,” Netanyahu said on Tuesday. “In the last few years the growth of Japanese investments in Israel has been 120 times. Last time I spoke it was 44 times. It grows at an astronomic rate. Actually, five billion dollars today, but it is growing very rapidly.”

The prime minister told Seko the Israel-Japan relationship was “a natural one.”

“Prime Minister [Shinzo] Abe and I agreed that we have to upgrade the economic relations and this visit is part of that,” Netanyahu added. “I welcome you and your colleagues. We want to see more trade, more tourism, more investments in both directions.”

Watch a video of the Netanyahu-Seko meeting below:

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