22 June 2018 - 9 Tammuz 5778 - ט' תמוז ה' אלפים תשע"ח
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe makes official visit to Israel E-mail

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, together with his wife and a delegation of senior Japanese business leaders, made an official second visit to Israel in May.

Prime Minister Abe met with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on 2 May for talks and an extended working meeting chaired by the two prime ministers.

In the evening, Prime Minister Netanyahu and his wife Sara hosted Prime Minister Abe and his wife for an intimate dinner at the Prime Minister’s Residence.

Israel and Japan maintain a very good bilateral relationship and co-operate extensively on issues of economy and trade, cyber, science, academia, health and more. Subsequent to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s previous visit to Japan in 2014 and Prime Minister Abe’s previous visit to Israel in 2015, the bilateral relationship has been significantly enhanced in terms of reciprocal trade volume and investment by Japanese companies in Israeli technology

Prime Minister Netanyahu said: “This is your second visit to Israel. My most recent visit to Japan was spectacular. We see the tremendous growth in Japanese investments of Israel, Israeli investments in Japan, the technology opportunities. This is a great partnership and we’ll make it even better.”

Japanese Prime Minister Abe said: “I do hope that Mr Prime Minister will come back to Japan in the near future. And also I am very happy to note that there has been the dramatic increase in Japanese investment to Israel under my administration. And also this time around, I brought a business delegation from Japan to Israel, which includes so many of the CEOs from Japan, so I do hope that you’ll have a productive discussion with the business leaders in the summit meetings that we are planning to have. And also I do hope that we’ll further investment development between the two sides.”

The two agreed to move forward on the issue of direct flights from Japan to Israel, which would increase tourism, investments and business.

In January 2015, the Cabinet decided to strengthen economic ties with Japan; there has since been a clear trend of increased economic co-operation in a variety of fields.

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No tourists visas for Israelis to Indonesia E-mail

Reports published in Israel’s Haaretz newspaper in May suggesting that Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim country, will soon be issuing tourist visas to Israelis have been denied by the Indonesian government.

According to the Jakarta Post, “The Indonesian government does not have a tourist visa policy for Israeli citizens,” the government said in a press release, while stressing that Indonesia and Israel had no diplomatic relations.

Indonesia’s Immigration Directorate General Agung Sampurno denied a report by an Israeli media portal claiming that it was issuing tourist visas to Israelis. He said the granting of visas to foreign citizens from a country that did not have diplomatic relations with Indonesia was only made possible through the Calling Visa mechanism, which is overseen by the Foreign Ministry and its related agencies, including the Immigration Directorate General.

“The report stating Indonesia was issuing tourist visas to Israelis is a hoax,” Agung said.

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Strong tourism drive in the Philippines E-mail

After breaking tourism records in 2017, Israel’s Ministry of Tourism conducted its first road show in the Philippines, on 24 April in Manila and 26 April in Cebu City.

Nineteen companies from Israel joined the tour. The Manila event was conducted in a networking format between companies from Israel and more than 100 local travel agents.

Director Hassan Madah of Israel’s Ministry of Tourism in India and the Philippines commented: “[Our country] is an emerging destination for the Filipino travellers [as] tourist arrivals from the Philippines to Israel have been growing [in] the last two years.”

Madah added: “We wanted to tap new markets, so we decided to conduct road shows in Manila and Cebu. We are also working on connectivity, as we discussed with Philippine Airlines the possibility of having direct flights, which hopefully [will happen] by the end of the year.”

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Hong Kong hosts its fifth delegation of injured Israeli soldiers E-mail

The Hong Kong Jewish community reached a new milestone in April by hosting its fifth delegation of injured soldiers from Israel’s Brothers for Life (Ach’im L’Chayim). Having hosted delegations from Brothers for Life for the fifth time in as many years, Hong Kong continues to be Asia’s only host country.

Brothers for Life was founded in 2007 to assist injured soldiers to get their lives back on track, and now assists around 800 injured soldiers.

“Having now hosted five delegations of injured soldiers, we have acquired a total of 50 new Brothers,” remarked Doron Nagar, one of the Hong Kong community organisers.

Through the generosity of members of the Hong Kong community, the soldiers enjoyed the sights and sounds of Hong Kong and Macau and were warmly welcomed by the Israeli Consul General and Ohel Leah synagogue members.

The delegation paid its annual visit to Elsa High School, where the soldiers interacted with the students and spoke about overcoming personal difficulties. Students from Elsa have visited the Brothers for Life on their school trips to Israel, cementing the strong bonds between the school and the soldiers.

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Israel looking to boost agricultural development in Nepal Print E-mail

CPN (Maoist Centre) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal met with Israel’s Ambassador to Nepal Benny Omer on 2 May to discuss co-operation on the agriculture industry in Napal.

Dahal said that Nepal can emulate Israel’s progress in the agriculture sector for its own prosperity. “Nepal’s economic prosperity is possible only with the development of agriculturebased industries, and technologies adopted by Israel will be highly important for us,” he said, conveying Nepal’s willingness to work together with Israel on agriculture-based industries. Ambassador Omer expressed his country’s readiness to lend support for Nepal’s agriculture development. “Beekeeping, floriculture, vegetable farming and fruit farming are our priority. We are ready to work with Nepali farmers in this sector,” he said. Commenting that Israel has adopted the policy of “learn and earn”, Omer said his country is ready to establish a professional training centre in Nepal.

(Issue Jun 2018)

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