News Centre – TDO – Japan’s Ambassador to Turkey Akio Miyajima and Japanese Embassy Defence Attaché Hiroyoshi Nakatsu have hosted a reception at the embassy residence to mark the occasion of the Japanese Self Defence Forces Day.
Japanese Self Defence Forces Day: The Japanese Defence Agency and the Japanese Self Defence Forces were founded on July 1st 1954, when the laws on the establishment of the Japanese Defence Agency and the Japanese Self Defence Forces came into force. On January 9th 2007, the agency became the Japanese Ministry of Defence. Japanese Self Defence Forces are attached to the Defence Minister, currently Itsunori Onodera. Japanese Self Defence Forces Chief of Staff Admiral Katsutoshi Kawano visited Turkey in 2015.
The reception was attended by Acting Speaker of Parliament Ahmet Aydın, General Director of Press, Publications and Information Mehmet Akarca, Ministry for Foreign Affairs General Director for South Asia Fazlı Çorman, as well as many representatives of foreign missions and other invitees.
The reception began with the playing of the national anthems of the two countries and continued with the opening address of Ambassador Miyajima.
Ambassador Miyajima, who started his duties in Turkey in September 2017, delivered his speech partly in Turkish and partly in English. Miyajima thanked Turkey for its support of the Japanese national team in the FIFA World Cup.
The ambassador said that Turkey and Japan were two states of one heart and added "As Japan’s Ambassador to Ankara, I will continue to devote myself to further developing the friendship and cooperation between our countries and our peoples.”
Miyajima mentioned that the Japanese Self Defence Forces were celebrating the 64th year of their establishment and said that in recent years, cooperation with friendly and allied countries had expanded.
Miyajima said that the Self Defence Forces have carried out joint activities with the Turkish navy and that they participated in foreign missions, such as UN Peacekeeping Operations, since the end of the Cold War. The Self Defence Forces were first deployed abroad in Cambodia 26 years ago and later in Golan Heights and South Sudan with headquarters personnel and engineering units. The Self-Defence Forces have been expanding cooperation with friendly and allied countries over the recent years to realise a free and open Indo-Pacific region. The anti-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia are a good example. In order to combat shared challenges, the Self Defence Forces have been operating together with the Turkish navy.
The ambassador said “It is the 140th anniversary of the Japanese Empire Navy ship Seiki’s visit to the Ottoman Empire in 1878. In 1890, Ottoman Empire navy frigate Ertuğrul carried out a visit to Japan. Tragically, the frigate Ertuğrul sank off the coast of Japan, some of the crew were saved by the local people and the survivors were returned to Turkey on military vessels. This humanitarian event formed the basis of the long lasting friendship between Japan and Turkey. I fully believe that defence cooperation will make significant contributions to the development of bilateral ties.”
Ambassador Miyajima said that relations between Turkey and Japan had developed further over the recent years thanks to the close friendship between the leaders of the two countries and added “With the recent elections, Turkey has begun a new journey. Last Thursday, Japanese Prime Minister Abe called President Erdoğan to congratulate him. As Japan’s Ambassador to Ankara, I will continue to devote myself to further developing the friendship and cooperation between our countries and our peoples. Turkey and Japan are two states that are of one heart."
Acting Speaker of the GNAT Aydın said that despite having been in Turkey for only 10 months, Ambassador Miyajima spoke Turkish very fluently and that he wholeheartedly supported the Japanese national team in the FIFA World Cup.
Aydın said “The geographical distance between our two countries has not prevented the formation of strong friendship ties between our states and peoples. Hearts have grown close to Japan, no matter the distance in between.”
Aydın said that Turkey and Japan are partners that share the same ideals on many issues and said “The perfect relationship between Turkey and Japan, which have the same perspective on many international issues, was brought up to the level of strategic partnership in 2013.”
Following the speeches, guests were offered delicious Japanese food.