Diplomatic relations between the Maldives and Japan was established on 15 November 1967. Over the past four decades, relations of friendship and understanding between the two countries have grown from strength to strength. Since the mid-1980s, Japan has been one of the biggest bilateral development partners of the Maldives. From human resources development to environmental protection, sustainable fisheries to communication and humanitarian, and reconstruction assistance in the aftermath of the tsunami in 2004.
The official visit of His Excellency Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, President of the Republic of Maldives, and her Excellency Fazna Ahmed, First Lady of the Republic of Maldives in October 2019, elevated the relationship between the two nations to new heights. This was the second official visit to Japan by a Maldivian head of state at the invitation of the Japanese government. On the basis of more than fifty-five years of affinity and mutual respect, the two countries agreed during the visit to expand and accelerate their cooperation.
Japan opened its resident mission in Male’ from 1 January 2016. The official opening ceremony was held 8 February 2016.
The two countries have also been working closely in the international arena on important international issues such as peace and security, climate change, human security and promotion and protection of human rights throughout the world.
People to people contact as well as trade and commercial relations between the two countries have grown steadily over the years. Nearly 40 thousand tourists from Japan visit the Maldives annually.