Bilateral Relations


1. Relationship between Japan and Yemen

Outline of Japan- Yemen Relationship can be shown as below according to 3 phases of the time.

  1. During the Imam Age

    In May, 1938, Prince Hussein, 3rd son of Imam Yahya of Yemen, visited Japan to participate in the opening ceremony of YOYOGI Mosque in Japan, and met His Majesty Emperor of Japan to submit a letter from Imam Yahya to His Majesty Emperor. Prince Hussein stayed in Japan till January 1939, and he did preparatory negotiation upon a trade agreement between Japan and Yemen.

  2. During 1960s to 1990

    Japan had good relations with North Yemen and South Yemen even before the unification in 1990 through visits of VIPs of Japan and Yemen. In 1960, His Imperial Highness Crown Price of Japan (now His Majesty Emperor) visited South Yemen. Japan’s development cooperation with Yemen started in the mid 1970’s and this cooperation is one of the pillars of the bilateral relationship.

    With North Yemen, Japan recognized it in May, 1963 and opened its Embassy in 1976, and Embassy of North Yemen was opened in Tokyo in June, 1981.
    With South Yemen, Japan recognized it in December, 1967, and Embassy of South Yemen in Tokyo was set up in May, 1974 and closed in June, 1982. And Japan opened its Embassy in South Yemen in May, 1977.

  3. After 1990
    (a) Diplomatic relations

    After the unification of Yemen in May 23, 1990, Japan swiftly recognized the unified Yemen. And Yemen side did, in 1990, set up Yemen-Japan Friendship Association in Sana’a, and on the other hand, Japan-Yemen Friendship Association was done in December 1996 in Tokyo: On the parliamentarian’ level, Japan-Yemen Parliamentarians’ Friendship Association was established in 1987, and that of Yemeni side was accordingly launched in 2000.
    And after 1990, both of Japan and Yemen have exchanged many VIPs of the two countries in addition to the grass-root communication among the peoples; The years of 1999 and 2005 have witnessed the visits of the former president Mr. Ali Abdullah Saleh to Japan, which have indeed solidified the bilateral relationships in the fields of economic cooperation, economic and social development, trade/investment, and multilateral cooperation in the UN to name a few.( Joint Press Statement )
    These years have witnessed an increased number of mutual exchange visits, political or cultural, and training courses organized by JICA. As a result of Yemen’s positive image in Japan, the number of Japanese tourists to Yemen has increased year by year.

    (b) Economic Cooperation is one of the pillars of Japan- Yemen relationship.

    Japan recognizes that Yemen is one of the least developed countries in the region and is in great need of foreign aid to promote economic and social development. Therefore, over the past three decades, Japan has provided grant aid and technical cooperation as well as YEN loans to support these developments.
    Japan is committed, through its economic cooperation based on ODA principles, to support Yemen’s endeavors for nation-building, promoting development, economic reforms and democracy. This is in line with the DPPR (Development Plan for Poverty Reduction) and MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) to which the Yemen Government is committed.


2.Bilateral Ecnomic Relation

  1. Trade Figures(2010 Yemeni Government Statistics)
    • Japan’s export to Yemen:182.4 million USD
    • Japan’s import from Yemen: 43 million USD
  2. Major trade items
    • Japan’s export to Yemen : Machinery, Car
    • Japan’s import from Yemen : Oil, Coffee

3. VIP visits (after unification)

From Japan to Yemen



May 2000

Mr. Tatsuo Ozawa, Ambassador on Special Mission
(on occasion of 10th Anniversary of Unification)

August 2001

Ms. Kaori Maruya, Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs

September 2002

Mr. Seiken Sugiura, Deputy Foreign Minister

March 2005

Mr. Katsuyuki Kawai, Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs

July 2006

Mr. Ito, Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs

June 2008 Mr. Uno, Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs

December 2009

Mr. Ito, Former Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare

From Yemen to Japan



March, 2004

Dr. Mohammed Lotf A. Al-Iryani, Minister of Water and Environment

March, 2005

Mr. Khalid Abdulwahab Sharif, Head of Supreme Election Committee

March, 2005

Dr. Mohammed Yahya Alnomi, Minister of Health

April, 2005

Mr. Abdulwahab Mahmoud, Deputy Speaker of Parliament

November, 2005

Mr. Ali Abdullah Saleh, President

August, 2007 Mr. Hamoud Mohammad Obad, Minister of Youth and Sports
April, 2008 Mr. Abdulkarim Ismail Al-Arhabi, Duputy Prime Minister and Minister of Planning and International Cooperation
November, 2009 Brig. Ali Abudullah Rasa, Chairman of Yemen Coast Guard
December 2009 Mr. Yahya Al-Mutawakel, Minister of Industry and Trade
October 2010 Mr. Ali Mohammed Mujawar, Prime Minister
October 2010 Mr. Abdul Rahman Fadhl Al-Eryani, Minister of Water and Environment
November, 2010 Dr. Abu Bakr Al-Qirbi, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Octorber 2012 Dr. Mohammed Saeed Al-Sa'adi, Minister of planning and international cooperation

4. Bilateral Treaties/Exchange of Notes

  • Sept 1989 Exchange of Notes to dispatch JOCV (Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers)
  • Sept 1993 Modification of Exchange of Notes to dispatch JOCV
  • Nov 1993 Technical Cooperation Agreement

5. Diplomatic mission

  • (1)Mr. Kazuhiro HIGASHI, Chargé d'Affairs of Japan to Yemen
  • (2)Mr. Adel Ali Ahmed ALSUNAINI, Ambassador of Yemen to Japan

6. Significance of Japan’s ODA (Official Development Assistance) toward Yemen

  Yemen is located on the southern edge of the Arabian Peninsula, positioned geopolitically at an important cross-point of the Mediterranean, Asia and Africa. Japan depends on 70% of its oil being transported through this region. Therefore, instability in Yemen could have a direct impact on the Japanese economy as well as the stability of the GCC countries.
  Among the Arab countries, Yemen shares with Japan the basic common values of democratization and a market-based economy. Yemen can play an important role supporting Japan’s new pillar of diplomacy called “Creating an Arc of Freedom and Prosperity”. Japan’s ODA will be an effective diplomatic tool, used efficiently for the benefit of Yemen.
  Japan is ready to cooperate with the Yemen Government to support the many needy sectors. Japan will be using different schemes to upscale the volume of Japan’s ODA to Yemen.

ODA Rolling Plan for the Republic of Yemen (As of April 2023)


7. Japan's Assistance to Yemen

Japan has made consistent contribution to support Yemeni people for many decades. Japan's recent assistance to Yemen is as follows:

2012: 34.60 million USD
2013: 53.62 million USD
2014: 36.70 million USD
2015: 38.49 million USD
2016: 47.60 million USD
2017: 63.75 million USD
2018: 51.88 million USD
2019: 52.80 million USD
2020: 41.36 million USD
2021: 65.71 million USD

Total (Since 2012): 486.51 million USD