Foreign Minister Gemba's Visit to Turkey (Overview)
January 7, 2012
Meeting with Mr. Zafer Caglayan,
Minister of Economy
Meeting with Dr. Ahmet Davutoglu,
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Joint Press Conference
Courtesy Call on Mr. Ali Babacan,
Deputy Prime Minister
Courtesy Call on Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan,
On Friday, January 6, Mr. Koichiro Gemba, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, visited the Republic of Turkey and met with political leaders of the country. The overview of the meetings is as follows.
1. Meeting with Mr. Zafer Caglayan, Minister of Economy of the Republic of Turkey
- (1) Minister Gemba and Minister Caglayan held talks mainly on economic relations between Japan and Turkey, and agreed to further strengthen bilateral economic relations going forward. Minister Caglayan said he would like to expedite the signing of Memorandum on Establishing a Framework for Cooperation in Economic Relations currently being arranged between the two countries. The Minister also said he is eager to start considerations for the future conclusion of a free trade agreement (FTA) between Japan and Turkey.
- (2) Minister Gemba welcomed the progress of bilateral cooperation in the area of space cooperation, and conveyed that Japan will cooperate in all aspects for the establishment of a space agency in Turkey and its future activities. Minister Gemba indicated his intention to sign the aforementioned Memorandum at an appropriate time in order to activate the scheme for strengthening economic relations at the early stage, as well as to discuss FTA within that context.
- (3) Minister Caglayan expressed his intention to visit Japan in April on the occasion of the Japan-Turkey Joint Economic Committee scheduled to be held in Tokyo.
2. Meeting with Dr. Ahmet Davutoglu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey (Includes Working Lunch) [Meeting: 10:45 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.; Joint Press Conference: 11:30 a.m. - noon; Working Lunch: 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. local time]
- (1) Minister Gemba and Minister Davutoglu exchanged views in a candid manner about two hours through a working lunch over wide-ranged areas including relations between Japan and Turkey, collaboration in international settings, and regional matters. The whole meeting was conducted in a friendly manner.
- (2) Minister Gemba pointed out that Turkey plays positive roles in multiple areas and is an important partner for Japan. He also welcomed the traditional relationship established between the two countries since the Ertugrul frigate disaster has recently been enhanced through various occasions including the 2010 Japan Year in Turkey. The two ministers agreed on enhancing the friendly relationship between the two countries from that of routine communication to one based on strategic objectives.
- (3) Minister Davutoglu expressed his wish for Japan to sign Memorandum in Economic Relations with Turkey at an early date. The two ministers agreed on starting negotiations on a social security agreement in the near future based on the request made by Japanese corporations doing business in Turkey.
- (1) Minister Gemba and Minister Davutoglu sincerely discussed regional issues and situations in the Asia-Pacific region through a working lunch.
- (2) The two ministers reached an agreement on working together to enhance the position of Japan and Turkey leveraging their technological and human resources as two countries located at the end of Asia.
- (3) Minister Gemba explained the recent development on the Korean Peninsula and asked for the continued cooperation from Turkey on the nuclear, missile, and abduction issues caused by North Korea. He also stated that Japan will incorporate the stable growth taking place in the Asia-Pacific region including China.
- (4) Minister Davutoglu elaborated on how Turkey has worked on nuclear issues of Iran since 2010 and made efforts to intervene in recent nuclear problems related to Iran based on his visit to Iran on January 4 and 5.
- (5) The two ministers confirmed their intention to further discuss their views on multiple international problems including nuclear non-proliferation.
3. Courtesy Call on Mr. Ali Babacan, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey [1: 00 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. local time]
- (1) Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Gemba, stated that he places great importance on relations with the Republic of Turkey which is beginning to play an increasingly important role in international affairs, and is achieving rapid economic growth. He expressed his desire to strengthen cooperation with Turkey in a variety of fields by making use of Japan's technological power and experience. Foreign Minister Gemba also expressed hopes for bilateral cooperation to expand through advances made in individual projects such as those in the field of telecommunications in Turkey.
- (2) In response to this, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey, Mr. Ali Babacan, expressed gratitude for Japan's contributions in Turkey in broadcasting satellite projects and the Izmit Bay Bridge project, among others. He also commented on the possibility of cooperation between Turkish and Japanese corporations in Iraq.
- (3) Foreign Minister Gemba and Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan agreed to strengthen economic ties based on the latent potential of the two countries.
4. Courtesy Call on Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey [7:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. local time]
- (1) Foreign Minister Gemba and Prime Minister Erdogan expressed mutual condolences for earthquakes which struck both countries last year. Furthermore, Prime Minister Erdogan acknowledged that although negotiations had been delayed in the Japan-Turkey nuclear energy cooperation plan due to the unfortunate accident caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake, they are currently under discussion. Minister Gemba expressed his gratitude for Turkey's support after the Great East Japan Earthquake.
- (2) Minister Gemba stated that in recent years, Turkey had been playing an important role in the international community, particularly in the Middle East region. He stated that even though traditionally friendly ties between Japan and Turkey continue to exist, he wished for the "cap of latent potential" of both countries to be opened for greater bilateral cooperation in the future to bolster strategic cooperative ties. Minister Gemba and Prime Minister Erdogan agreed to further strengthen political cooperation in the future.
- (3) Prime Minister Erdogan expressed gratitude for concrete advances being made in Japan-Turkey cooperation in the construction of the Third Bosphorus Bridge, the Cross-Bosphorus Tunnel, and in the space sector among others. In response to this, Minister Gemba expressed his desire to strengthen cooperative ties in the future in economic fields.
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