Japan-Turkey Relations

Japan-Turkey Relations (Basic Data)

October 11, 2016

Basic Data

General:

Japan and the Republic of Turkey have maintained good relations for over a century. There has been wide-ranging interaction between the two countries, including visits by eminent persons, as well as economic and cultural exchange. These exchanges have been increasing since a visit to Turkey by Foreign Minister Shintaro Abe in 1983. Turkey's former premier Turgut Ozal (prime minister 1983-89, president 1989-93, died April 1993), who was familiar with Japanese affairs, also played an important role in the growth of the relationship.

There have been various exchanges of visits by eminent persons, such as the visits of Crown Prince Naruhito in March 2009 and Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada in January 2010. On the occasion of visit to Turkey by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in May 2013, "Joint Declaration of the Establishment of Strategic Partnership Between Japan and the Republic of Turkey" was signed and on the occasion of second visit in October 2013, "Joint Declaration by the Government of Japan and the Government of the Republic of Turkey on cooperation in the field of Nuclear Energy and Science and Technology" was signed between Prime Minister Abe and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Japan for the first time as the President of the Republic of Turkey in October 2015 and Prime Minister Abe expressed to further expand the “Strategic Partnership” between the two countries in all fields, including politics, the economy and culture on the occasion of their summit meeting. On the occasion of the third visit to Turkey by Prime Minister Abe in November 2015, the premiere screening of the Japanese-Turkish film production “Kainan 1890”with the presence of both leaders as well as the fifth summit meeting between Prime Minister Abe and President Erdogan were held in Istanbul.

The friendly relations, which started with the visit of Ottoman Empire's Ertugrul Frigate to Japan and the disaster following the visit, has reached its 120th anniversary in 2010. Not only the Ertugrul Frigate Disaster but also several historical incidents such as the rescue of Japanese people by a Turkish Airlines plane during Iran-Iraq War that symbolize the friendship between two countries are frequently mentioned. Commemorating 120th anniversary of the friendship between Japan and Turkey, "Japan Year 2010 in Turkey" was held and 186 various events were held in all over Turkey through the whole year.Moreover, in the wake of Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011 and the earthquakes in Turkey's eastern part in October and November 2011 respectively, both countries provided each other with support, which strengthened the relationship between the two nationals.

Diplomatic Relations:

1924 August Japan recognizes the Republic of Turkey.
1925 March Japan opens an embassy in Turkey.
July Turkey opens an embassy in Japan.
1945 January Turkey severs relations with Japan.
February Turkey declares war on Japan and Germany.
1952 June Turkey reopens its embassy in Japan.
1953 May Japan reopens its embassy in Turkey.
1965 Japan establishes a consulate in Istanbul (upgraded to consulate-general status in 1972)

Bilateral Treaties and Agreements:

4 April 1934 Commerce and navigation treaty
5 January 1958 Visa exemption agreement
20 July 1989 Agreement between Japan and Turkey for Air Services
12 March 1993 Agreement between Japan and Turkey Concerning the Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investment
28 December 1994 Convention between Japan and Turkey for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Income Taxes
29 June 2014 Agreement between the Government of Japan and the Government of the Republic of Turkey for Co-operation in the use of Nuclear Energy for Peaceful Purposes
31 July 2015 Agreement between the Government of Japan and the Government to the Republic of Turkey for Co-operation for Development of Nuclear Power Industry in the Republic of Turkey

Number of Residents:

  • 2,208 Japanese residents in Turkey (as of October 2015)
  • 4,723 Turkish residents in Japan (as of December 2015)

Trade with Japan (in US Dollars):

  • Principal imports from Japan: $3.14 billion (2015)
    (Construction equipments, Automobile ・ Automobile parts, Steel Plate)
  • Principal exports to Japan: $334 million (2015)
    (Cigarette, Tuna, Spaghetti)

Economic Assistance from Japan:

Japan regards Turkey as one of its most important aid recipients in the Middle East and actively provides assistance. This stance reflects the following factors: First, Turkey is an important nation, and is contributing to regional stability with its moderate and realistic foreign policy and by working harmoniously with the West while maintaining friendly and cooperative relations with neighboring Eastern European countries and Newly Independent States. Second, Turkey's need for aid is strong due to its large population. Third, Turkey is geopolitically important because of its location at the crossroads of Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.

Japan's Aid to Turkey:

  • List of Exchange of Notes
  • Loans: 652.1 billion yen (Cumulative total as of 2014)
  • Grant aid: 3.639 billion yen (Cumulative total as of 2014)
  • Technical cooperation: 46.512 billion yen (Cumulative total as of 2014)

Educational and Cultural Exchange:

  • (a) Cultural Exchange
    Japan and Turkey have been enjoying long lasting friendly relations for more than 100 years. According to the public survey in Turkey conducted by the Japanese Foreign Ministry in 2012, 83.2% of respondents answered that the relations between Japan and Turkey are "friendly" or "almost friendly".
  • (b) In May, 1998, the Turkish-Japanese foundation culture center was opened in Ankara by Suleyman Demirel, President of the Republic of Turkey and Prince and Princess Tomohito of Mikasa, and a variety of cultural events have been held in the center. The center functions as a base for not only cultural exchange between two countries but also other various field of exchange.
  • (c) In 2010, on the occasion of the 120th year of the Ertugrul Frigate Disaster, 186 cultural events took place under the framework of "the Japan Year 2010 in Turkey". The Japanese-Turkish film production “Kainan 1890” was produced and showed in both countries in 2015 on the memorial of 125th year of the Disaster.
  • (d) Japanese Language Education
    Japanese language education in Turkey began in 1976 with the establishment of the first Japanese language course in the country by the Istanbul branch of the Turkey-Japan Women's Cultural Association. University-level Japanese language education began in earnest in 1986 with the establishment of a Japanese language and literature program in the faculty of letters of Ankara University. Japanese language education has grown over the years, and courses have been established in major universities in Turkey.

VIP Visits

Visits to Turkey (since 2000)
Year Name
2000 State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Ichita Yamamoto
2001 Minister of State Ryutaro Hashimoto
2002 Minister for Foreign Affairs Makiko Tanaka (January)
Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Atsuko Toyama Prince Tomohito of Mikasa (October)
2003 Prince Tomohito of Mikasa, Princess Tomohito of Mikasa (Nobuko), Princesses Akiko and Yohko
2004 Prince Tomohito of Mikasa
2005 Minister of Finance, Sadakazu Tanigaki (May)
Prince Tomohito of Mikasa, Princess Akiko (September)
2006 Prime Minister, Junichiro Koizumi
2008 Princess Akiko
2009 Crown Prince Naruhito
2010 Minister of Foreign Affairs, Katsuya Okada (January)
Prince Tomohito of Mikasa (May)
Prince Tomohito of Mikasa, Princess Akiko (July)
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Takahiro Yokomichi (July)
2012 Minister of Foreign Affairs, Koichiro Gemba (January)
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Koichiro Gemba (June)
2013 Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe (May)
Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe (October)
2014 Princess Akiko (April)
Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Toshimitsu Motegi (July)
Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications, Yoshitaka Shindo (July)
2015 Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, Taro Aso (February)
Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Hakubun Shimomura (May)
Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Akihiro Ohta (May)
Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Yoshimasa Hayashi (May)
Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, Taro Aso (September)
Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe (November)
Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, Taro Aso (November)
2016 Minister of State for Okinawa and Northern Territories Affairs, "Cool Japan" Strategy, the Intellectual Property Strategy, Science and Technology Policy, Space Policy, Yosuke Tsuruho (September)
To Japan (since 2000)
Year Name
2000 Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ismail Cem (April)
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Mustafa Cumhur Ersumer (June)
Minister of Public Works and Settlement, Mehmet Aydin (August)
Environment Minister, Fevzi Aytekin (September)
2001 Minister of Tourism, Mustafa Tashar
2002 Minister of Public Works and Settlement, Akjan (March)
Minister of Transport and Communication, Vural (April)
2003 Deputy Prime Minister, Ertugrul Yalcinbayir (Februrary)
National Assembly Chairman, Bulent Arinc (June)
Minister of Culture and Environment, Erkan Mumcu (August)
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdullah Gul (December)
2004 Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan
2007 Public Works Minister, Faruk Nafiz Ozak
2008 President, Abdullah Gul
2009 Minister of Culture and Tourism, Ertugrul Gunay
2010 Speaker of Grand National Assembly, Mehmet Ali Sahin (October)
Minister of State, Zafer Caglayan (November)
Minister of Transport and Telecommunications, Binali Yildirim (December)
Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Taner Yildiz (December)
Deputy Prime Minister, Ali Babacan (December)
2011 Minister of Science, Industry and Technology, Nihat Ergun (May)
Minister of Economy, Zafer Caglayan (July)
2012 Deputy Prime Minister, Ali Babacan (October) Minister of Health, Recep Akdag (October)
2013 Minister of Defense, Ismet Yilmaz (March)
Minister of Environment and Urbanism, Erdogan Bayraktar (May)
2014 Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan (January)
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ahmet Davutoglu (April)
Minister of Economy, Nihat Zeybekci (October)
Minister of National Education, Nabi Avci (November)
2015 Minister of Finance, Mehmet Simsek (February)
Deputy Prime Minister, Numan Kurtulmus (March)
Speaker of Grand National Assembly, Cemil Cicek (June)
President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan (October)
2016 Deputy Prime Minister, Mehmet Simsek (August)
Minister of Science, Industry and Technology, Faruk Ozlu (October)