Turkey, Japan seek to further boost developing relations

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ANKARA
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Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, right, and his Japanese counterpart Taro Kono shake hands after joint news conference in Ankara, Turkey, Dec. 28, 2017. (AA Photo)
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, right, and his Japanese counterpart Taro Kono shake hands after joint news conference in Ankara, Turkey, Dec. 28, 2017. (AA Photo)

Turkey and Japan aim to forge closer ties over Syria and humanitarian aid, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavusoğlu said Thursday.

"We have shared our common will to establish closer relations with Japan not only on the Syria matter but also on other humanitarian matters as well," he said during a visit by Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono to Ankara.

Çavusoğlu added: "We want to enhance our relations to the level of this friendship in all areas, especially in the economy and politics."

The planned construction of a nuclear power plant at Sinop on the Black Sea coast, which includes a French-Japanese consortium, is a key Turkish project involving Japan.

Çavusoğlu said "important steps" with Japan would be made next year.

"I will also pay visit to Japan in the forthcoming period and our economy minister and energy minister will visit Japan," Turkey's top diplomat said.

Meanwhile, Kono praised Turkey's regional leadership, singling out the Syrian refugee crisis.

"We had a meaningful exchange of opinions about peace in the Middle East after U.S.' announcement regarding Jerusalem as well as situation in Syria, the Middle East and East Asia," Kono said.

He announced a Japan-Turkey Security Council Meeting next year that would look at counter-terrorism policies.

Kono stressed that developing relations between Turkey and Japan have reached the level of strategic partnership due to active communication between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Earlier, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met Kono for an hour-long meeting.

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