Japan's ambassador to Ankara, Akio Miyajima said yesterday that in the upcoming period the enhancing of ties between Turkey and Japan is expected with the high-level meetings and steps to be taken.
"Next year is a great chance for us to level up Turkish-Japanese ties. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will attend the G20 summit in Japan next year and there will be many high-level visits and meetings," Miyajima told Daily Sabah.
The Japanese envoy underscored that "next year is designated as Turkey year in Japan. There will be tourism promotion and cultural events to bring more Japanese people to Turkey and also enhance the interest of Japanese people," adding that this would be an essential opportunity for the two countries to strengthen people-to-people ties.
Political relations between Japan and Turkey were upgraded to the level of "Strategic Partnership" in 2013 and continue to develop rapidly with high-level visits.
Diplomatic relations between Turkey and Japan were established in 1924 and Turkey's first mission in Japan was opened in 1925.
Commenting on the negotiations between Turkey and Japan over the Free Trade Agreement (FTA), the ambassador stressed that with a series of talks significant progress has been made.
"We aim at reaching the basic agreement when President Erdoğan will visit Japan in June at the time of the G20 summit next year. A Japan-Turkey FTA is important in several ways. It will lower the tariffs which will encourage exports and imports," Miyajima said.
He stressed that "last year Japan signed an FTA with the EU. In Asia Pacific, Japan also made a trans-pacific partners agreement. If Turkey is to be connected to this zone it will be for the great benefit of Turkey to get involved in the Asia Pacific region."
Miyajima underlined that he met with Turkey's Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan and Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank last month in Singapore and discussed the facilitation of the FTA.
"From our side we want to connect Europe, Turkey and the Asia Pacific with the agreement. This would have a regional and global impact and I am hopeful that we can move forward," the ambassador emphasized.