Provisional Translation

"Japan Year 2010 in Turkey" Opening Declaration

January 4, 2010

120 years ago, a warship encountered rough waves in the Pacific Ocean and sank off the coast of Kushimoto, Japan. The Ottoman Empire had sent the Ertugrul frigate to Japan on a goodwill mission, and although most of the sailors died, the tragedy has long since been a symbol of the friendship between Japan and Turkey. Relations between the two countries have since overcome a number of challenges to form into a relationship full of friendship and goodwill that stands out among international relationships of the present day.

Entering the 21st century, in the current age of dramatic internationalization and globalization, Japan increasingly recognizes Turkey as an important friendly country, being located at the intersection of Asia, Europe, and the Middle East and playing an important role in the peace and stability of the region. As Turkey seeks a new partnership with the Asian region, which is leading the dynamism of global development, it is placing additional emphasis on the significance of its friendly and cooperative relationship with Japan. Currently, as members of the United Nations Security Council and the G20, both Japan and Turkey have substantial responsibilities and roles in global peace and prosperity. Cooperation between the two countries has the power to change the future of the world.

On the other hand, the figures that represent the current relationship between the two countries are certainly not at a satisfactory level, and are certainly unbecoming of the great capabilities the two countries hold. To build substantive relations to a level becoming of the potential of each of Japan and Turkey, the two countries decided to hold "Turkey Year in Japan" in 2003 and "Japan Year 2010 in Turkey" this year in Turkey. The Joint Statement between Japan and the Republic of Turkey announced when Mr. Abdullah Gül, President of Turkey, first visited Japan as President in 2008, confirmed the commitment to raise the cooperative relationship between the two countries to a new level.

This year, which is the 120th year since the Ertugrul Frigate Disaster, is one in which to look back on a history of friendship that both countries should be proud of, and we expect "Japan Year 2010 in Turkey" to increase knowledge of and regard for Japan in Turkey, further advance the close relationship between citizens of both countries, and form a new cornerstone for a lasting relationship of friendship and cooperation between the two countries.

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