Message from Ambassador ARAI Yusuke

Message from Ambassador ARAI Yusuke
I am pleased to address you as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Israel.
I arrive in Israel in the midst of people still experiencing difficulties, challenges and pain, following the eruption of the war since October 7th. As Ambassador of Japan in Israel I would like to cooperate with you to the greatest extent in order to overcome these difficult days together.
I’d like to reassure you that the bilateral relation between Japan and Israel is at a strong point in terms of our political ties, economic cooperation and cultural relations. Our Foreign Minister KAMIKAWA Yoko visited Israel last November clearly demonstrating Japan’s solidarity with Israel. And despite the recent hardships and sad occurrences during the latter part of 2023, the latest report shows that investment from Japan to Israel continues steadily. I am also excited to learn that there are many enthusiasts of Japanese cuisine, anime and culture in Israel, and that the passion and love to Japan have not been changed rather being expanded even in these difficult days, with direct flights to Japan being almost fully booked on every flight.
Our friendship with the Jewish people goes back to even before the establishment of the state of Israel.  During World War II a large number of Jews arrived in Japan, escaped Europe with visas issued by Mr. SUGIHARA Chiune, who was at that time the vice consul of Japan in Lithuania. In 1985 Yad Vashem honored Mr. SUGIHARA as “Righteous Among the Nations” for his courageous and humanitarian act to save Jews from the Holocaust. In 2022, two other Japanese, Dr. KOTSUJI Setsuzo and Mr. OSAKO Tatsuo, have been similarly honored by the Knesset for their selfless and kindhearted behavior to save Jewish people. I hope that the spirit of this special friendship will continue to be fostered.
With the aim of further strengthening our relationship, I am looking forward to working with you and your kind cooperation would be highly appreciated.
Together with you, I sincerely hope that all hostages will soon be back to their homes, and tranquility and calm will soon prevail in Israel.
May 2024
Ambassador of Japan to Israel
ARAI Yusuke