"There is no reason for Japan, which places innovation as an engine of economic growth, not to cooperate with Israel." Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem today. (Photo by Amit Shabi/POOL/FLASH90)
“There is no reason for Japan, which places innovation as an engine of economic growth, not to cooperate with Israel.” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem today. (Photo by Amit Shabi/POOL/FLASH90)

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today (January 19) called for greater bilateral economic cooperation.

“There is no reason for Japan, which places innovation as an engine of economic growth, not to cooperate with Israel, which invents innovative technology,” Abe said, according to the Japanese-language paper Sankei.

At a meeting in Jerusalem today, Netanyahu said “the future belongs to those who innovate. Japan is a country of innovation, Israel is a country of innovation… together we can do a lot more.”

Abe, who is the first Japanese premier to visit Israel since 2006, is on a six-day visit to the Middle East with a delegation of more than 100 government officials and presidents of Japanese companies.

On Sunday, Abe was treated to a special exhibition of innovative Israeli technologies including Phinergy, RealView, ReWalk, ConsumerPhysics and ElMindA.

“Japan and Israel are both countries that don’t have much of the natural resources but what we have is human resources,” Abe said, noting that ties are growing “in every field.”

Abe spoke about advancing economic relationships with Israel.

“We look forward to advancement in bilateral economic relationships, including expansion and reactivation of mutual exchanges between businesses,” he said. “The three-year plan of Israel to strengthen our economic relationships is highly appreciated as a contribution to the development of our bilateral relations.”