Turkey and Japan share similar cultural values, such as hard work, courage and discipline, despite differences in language and the geographical distance between the two countries, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said yesterday.
Speaking at a lunch hosted by the head of Japan's Liberal Democratic Party, Toshihiro Nikai, in Tokyo, Erdoğan said more than 170,000 Japanese people have visited the "Treasures and Tradition of ‘Lale' [Tulip] in the Ottoman Empire" exhibition.
Erdoğan added that a photo exhibition, featuring the works of renowned Turkish-Armenian photographer Ara Güler at the 800-year-old Tofukuji Temple in Kyoto also saw a lot of interest from the people of Japan.
"We hope to introduce Turkey's rich cultural heritage to our Japanese friends with different programs throughout the year," Erdoğan said.
He emphasized the potential for cooperation not only in politics and economy fields but also in culture and science.
"One of the most critical projects between Turkey and Japan is the Turkish-Japanese University of Science and Technology, to be established in Istanbul. We are working to open this university within a short time," he said.
Erdoğan also received Oshima Tadamori, the speaker of the House of Representatives, in the Japanese Parliament, the Diet.
"Japan has a special place in the hearts of the Turkish people. In 2013, we crowned our friendship with a strategic partnership. I believe that parliamentary diplomacy plays an important role in the development of cooperation between countries," Erdoğan said at the meeting.
Erdoğan further added that Toshihiro Nikai is one of the most senior figures in Japanese politics and a member of the long-incumbent party.
"While we are talking about increasing intergovernmental dialogue between us, we should also develop interparty dialogue," Erdoğan added.
Erdoğan also expressed hope that the cooperation would continue to grow in the coming years.
Meanwhile, Turkey's Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, part of Erdoğan's delegation, met his Japanese counterpart in Tokyo yesterday.
Turkey's National Defense Ministry said on Twitter that Akar and Takeshi Iwaya discussed defense and security cooperation between the two countries.