Despite the great geographic distance, scientific exchanges between Switzerland and Japan have been ongoing for more than 200 years; the first notable Swiss personality visiting Japan was a scientist, traveling with a Russian mission to Japan in 1805. Over the many years of ongoing collaborations, and thanks to new means of communication, the countries moved closer together. Japan has become the most important research partner for Switzerland in Asia and is well-respected among our researchers for its precision and reliability.
On 10 July 2007, the Swiss Federal Council and the government of Japan signed a framework agreement on technical and scientific cooperation. As stipulated in this agreement, a joint committee meets every two to three years, alternately in Switzerland and in Japan, to discuss cooperation activities and to exchange information. The last meeting took place in Switzerland in December 2014 when the two countries celebrated the 150th anniversary of diplomatic relations.
In order to further facilitate collaborations, the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI), in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has placed several Science Counselors and Science & Technology Offices within Embassies.