Japanese FM Nobutake Machimura will visit Israel between January 16 and 18, 2005.

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)

The Foreign Minister of Japan, Nobutake Machimura, will be visiting Israel between January 16 and 18, as the guest of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom.

Aside from meeting with Foreign Minister Shalom, Nobutake Machimura will also meet with the President of Israel Moshe Katsav, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Vice Premier Shimon Peres.

This is the first visit of Foreign Minister Machimura to Israel, since he was appointed to his present position in September 2004. He made two previous visits to Israel as a member of parliament and Deputy Foreign Minister.

The visit will focus on the promotion of the positive and extensive bilateral relations and friendship prevailing between the two countries. Foreign Minister Machimura and his interlocutors will also discuss the peace process in the region, as well as other regional and international issues.