By Ecenur Colak and Fuat Kabakci
TOKYO (AA) – Turkey and Japan look to strengthen their relations in every field, Turkish foreign minister said on Monday.
Speaking at a joint press conference with his Japanese counterpart Taro Kono in Tokyo, Mevlut Cavusoglu said: “During our mutual visits and bilateral talks, we are making efforts to further deepen our relations in every field and to further strengthen our ties.”
Cavusoglu and Kono will later meet for bilateral talks.
Japan-Turkey Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), some joint projects planned to be realized in Turkey and the formation of Japan-Turkey Science and Technology University will be discussed during their talks, he said.
In regards to the year 2019 that will be celebrated as Year of Turkish Culture in Japan, the foreign minister said: “We are very pleased that 2019 will be celebrated as Year of Turkish Culture in Japan. We’ve already started works for these events.”
Turkey is also glad that Japan has started playing an active role for the solution of issues in the world, including the Middle East, and it attaches importance to the humanitarian aspect of the problems, Cavusoglu said.
“Japan has always been objective, balanced and fair, he said, adding: "This is what we want.”
– Strategic partner
Calling Turkey a "strategic partner", Kono said: “We think that it is our duty to further strengthen good relations between Japan and Turkey. In this regard, we would like to improve the cooperation between the two countries in the fields of politics, economy, culture and disaster.
“Turkey, which plays a big role in the Middle East, is a quite important partner for Japan,” he added.
The Japanese foreign minister thanked Turkey for its “valued” efforts to rescue Jumpei Yasuda, a Japanese journalist, who went missing in Syria in 2015.
Yasuda was rescued from al-Qaeda captors by Turkish security and intelligence teams in consultations with Japanese authorities in October.