Japan's Ambassador to Ankara Akio Miyajima has emphasized that Japan welcomes Turkey's initiatives in Asia and further steps will be mutually beneficial.
"Turkey is paying more and more attention to Asia, which is most welcome," Miyajima told Daily Sabah, referring to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's visits to Asia and Turkey's recent engagement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries.
Japanese envoy Miyajima, who is expected to present his credentials to the president soon, stated that Turkey and Japan have historically harmonious and friendly relations which were first formed after the Turkish Ertugrul Frigate sank in Japan in 1890.
Underlining that Turkey is not only significant for the region but also for Japan and Asia, Miyajima said that bilateral ties have room for further improvement.
Regarding the recent launching of Turkish drama broadcasts on TV in Japan, Miyajima said that this will contribute to the positive image of Turkey in the country and could increase Japanese interest in visiting the country, meeting the people and trying Turkish food. The ambassador added that he hopes more Japanese people will visit Turkey and that the diplomatic exchange of people on both sides will be enhanced.
Pointing to the geographical differences between Japan and Turkey, Miyajima underscored that Turkey has faced many challenges stemming from its neighboring countries, including the Syrian refugee crisis, adding that Japan has experienced different challenges such as the nuclear weapons threat.
"Turkey hosts more than 3 million refugees and people are living harmoniously. This is an important aspect of the inclusiveness of [the] Turkish people," Miyajima said adding that Japan would like to help Syria's refugees with projects that would provide aid to the local municipalities in eastern parts of Turkey, in an effort to alleviate the difficulties faced by refugees living there.
Commenting on bilateral ties, Miyajima underlined that "We can enhance our friendship and partnerships in many areas including business, diplomacy and culture.
As Turkey sees a demand for improvements to its infrastructure system, Miyajima stated: "We would be more than happy if Japanese technology was chosen for a good kind of technology project that can be utilized."
Miyajima underscored that the world's attention has been shifting towards Asia, adding that "Turkey, with its strategic location and talented people, should take advantage of the economic dynamism there." He stressed that Turkey has a standing global network and has been playing a bigger role, to which "Japan is paying attention."
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