Residents of Moshav Nahalal in the Jezreel Valley watched an extraordinary event last week, when a delegation of 83 senior business people from Japan sang Israel’s national anthem Hatikvah, as part of a social initiative of world peace they had launched on the occasion of Israel’s 70th anniversary and 2,700 years of Japan, Israel’s Channel 2 News reported Wednesday.
Moshav Nahalal, birthplace of the legendary General Moshe Dayan, was founded in 1921 as the first moshav ovidim (workers’ cooperative agricultural settlement).
A cornerstone laying ceremony was held as part of the event last Thursday, symbolizing the commercial and tourist ties between Israel and Japan – to encourage Japanese tourists to visit Israel.
The cornerstone, in Hebrew and Japanese, reads: “The Israel-Japan Friendship Association is celebrating 70 years for Israel and 2,700 years for Japan, Japan and Israel are joining hands to bring peace to the world.”
The ceremony ended with Japanese delegation and their Israeli hosts singing Hatikvah.
The event’s organizers intend to turn it into an annual tradition that will host delegations from Japan and Israel.