Japan increases investment in Israel, in midst of negotiating free-trade agreement

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Israel and Japan have been negotiating a free-trade agreement, the financial newspaper Calcalist reported on Tuesday.

This development comes as a Japanese envoy, led by the country’s Economy, Trade and Industry minister Hiroshige Seko, visited Israel.

Seko met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Economy and Industry Minister Eli Cohen. This visit is Seko’s third in the past four years.

“There’s been a tremendous increase in Japanese investments in Israel. In the last few years, the growth of Japanese investments in Israel has been 120 times,” said Netanyahu. “Last time I spoke, it was 44 times. It grows in astronomic rate. Actually, $5 billion today, but it is growing very rapidly.”

He continued, “Our relationship is 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.”

“We want to see more trade, more tourism, more investments in both directions,” added Netanyahu.