Japan-Turkey Relations

September 21, 2016
(Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
(Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)

On September 21, commencing at 11:40 a.m. (local time) for approximately 45 minutes, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, who was visiting New York to attend the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), held a summit meeting with H.E. Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of the Republic of Turkey. The overview is as follows.

1. Opening

President Erdogan congratulated Prime Minister Abe on the Liberal Democratic Party’s victory in the House of Councilors election, and explained the attempted coup d’etat that occurred in Turkey in July. Prime Minister Abe replied that as a friend he feels extremely happy that the difficult circumstances of the coup d’etat have been overcome, and explained that immediately after the coup attempt occurred he personally issued a statement that “the democratic system in Turkey should be respected”. Prime Minister Abe once again expressed his respect for the unity and solidarity displayed by the people of Turkey.

Furthermore, Prime Minister Abe praised the strong performances of both countries at the Rio Olympics, and requested support for the success of the Tokyo Olympics in four years’ time, which President Erdogan had congratulated him on.

2. Bilateral relations

Prime Minister Abe stated the following:

  • With the cooperation of President Erdogan, I intend to advance bilateral relations. Dialogue between our foreign ministers is also important.
  • I welcome that the “Agreement between the Government of Japan and the Government of the Republic of Turkey concerning the establishment of the Turkish-Japanese Science and Technology University in the Republic of Turkey” was approved in Turkey’s parliament, and intend to move steadily ahead with the preparations for opening the university.
  • With regard to the Sinop Nuclear Power Plant, I expect that progress will be made on constructing the ATMEA1 reactors, which reflect the lessons of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station to the utmost extent.
  • Cooperation with Turkey in the field of space is also progressing.
    President Erdogan explained that he hopes to increase trade and investment between Japan and Turkey, and along with noting the importance of the support that Japan provides through assistance such as yen loans, he also commented on the progress of each project.

3. Regional affairs

Prime Minister Abe stated the following:

  • Turkey is making major contributions to the stability of the regional and international communities by accepting more Syrian refugees than any country in the world and advancing the fight against terrorism, including ISIL. For these reasons I respect President Erdogan deeply.
  • I recently attended a high-level briefing of the Security Council on the situation in Syria, where I announced additional assistance of approximately 1.13 billion dollars for Syria, Iraq and neighboring countries this year, in addition to the assistance that Japan has provided thus far, which totals more than 1.26 billion dollars.
  • I anticipate Turkey will play a continued positive role with regard to the situation in Syria, including the cessation of hostilities and improved access for humanitarian assistance. President Erdogan explained that Turkey is doing its utmost to restore a ceasefire in Syria, and the two leaders exchanged views on the Syria situation.

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