'Japanese visitors in Turkey increased 90 pct in 2018'

By Tugcenur Yilmaz

ANKARA (AA) – The number of Japanese visitors in Turkey have increased by almost 90 percent in 2018, the culture and tourism minister said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a reception to mark the Japanese Autumn Festival 2018, Mehmet Ersoy said: "There has been a 90-percent increase in the number of the Japanese visitors in this year.

Emphasizing the deep-rooted cultural ties and friendship between Turkey and Japan, Ersoy vowed to introduce Japanese people to Turkey through cultural activities.

Ersoy recalled that 2019 would be celebrated as the "Year of Turkey" in Japan.

"As part of [Year of Turkey], Topkapi [Palace] artifacts will be exhibited in 2019 both in Tokyo and Kyoto," he added.

Ersoy said Japanese excavation works in Kaman district of Turkey's Kirsehir province was contributing to employment and training of the local people.

Japanese Ambassador Akio Miyajima said they had organized several events as part of the festival which was attended by almost 10,000 people.

Stating that the Japanese cultural events would continue, Miyajima said: "I believe that culture, quality food and art are a great power that unites people beyond borders."

He said the new Japanese emperor will accede to the throne in October in 2019 and the country will host G20 Leaders Summit in June.

"For this reason, we expect President [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan to visit Japan twice," he said.