News Centre –TDO- Japan’s Ambassador to Turkey Akio Miyajima has hosted a reception at the embassy residence to mark the birthday of the Emperor of Japan Akihito.

The reception was attended by Minister of Family, Work and Social Services Zehra Zümrüt Selçuk, Saadet Party Chairman Temel Karamollaoğlu, General Director of the America Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador İnan Özyıldız, former Ambassador to Japan Sermet Atacanlı, many representatives of diplomatic missions and the media.

The guests were greeted at the entrance by Ambassador Akio Miyajima, Embassy Undersecretary Koichiro Nakamura and his spouse Keiko Nakamura, Defence Attaché Hiroyoshi Nakatsu and his spouse Hisae Nakatsu.

The reception began with the playing of the national anthems of Japan and Turkey.

Delivering the opening address, Ambassador Miyajima greeted his guests in Turkish and said that he had been trying to learn Turkish since he was appointed ambassador to Turkey last September.

Speaking in most part in Turkish, Ambassador Miyajima said that until now he had visited 24 provinces of Turkey, including Istanbul, Izmir, Antalya, Gaziantep, Trabzon and Kırşehir and that he had always received a very warm welcome.

Ambassador Miyajima said that the Emperor of Japan Akihito would turn 85 on December 23rd, that he would abdicate from the throne on April 30th and that the Crown Prince Naruhito would ascend as the Emperor of Japan on May 1st.

Ambassador Miyajima pointed out the recent increase in mutual high level visits between Turkey and Japan and said that steps were being taken to include the business world, with the 24th session of the Japan-Turkey Business Council Joint Meetings having been held in September.

Miyajima said that positive developments were taking place in terms of Japanese-Turkish cooperation in culture and sports and said many activities had been held in Turkey as part of the Japan 2018 Autumn Festival.

Miyajima said that Japan had experienced a number of natural disasters this year, including floods, typhoons and earthquakes and said “I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your warm support to our people. The western and northern regions of Japan which suffered damage in these disasters have been completely reconstructed. A friend in need is a friend indeed.”

Miyajima said that in 2019 Japan would host the G-20 Summit and would also hold a state ceremony in October for the ascension of the new emperor and added “It is foreseen that President Erdoğan will visit Japan twice in the coming year. We also expect a number of official visits at the ministerial level.”

Miyajima said that the coming year would also be celebrated as the “Year of Turkey” in Japan and that an exhibition of artefacts from the the Topkapı Palace Treasury would be held.

Miyajima concluded by saying “Although they may be distant geographically, Japan and Turkey are two states with a single heart.”

Minister of Family, Work and Social Services Selçuk congratulated the Emperor of Japan Akihito on the occasion of his 85th birthday and said “Despite the geographical distance between Turkey and Japan, there are strong ties of friendship between our states and peoples. I am pleased to say that the Turkish people have deep sympathy and respect for the brotherly Japanese people.”

Stating that the visit of Japanese Princess Akiko Mikasa to Turkey in September was an honour, Minister Selçuk added that the Japanese Anatolian Archaeological Institute, which was inaugurated in 2005, continued its work successfully.

Selçuk said that the completion of the text of the Economic Partnership Agreement between Turkey and Japan within the first half of 2019 was one of the priority issues of the Minister for Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu’s recent visit to Japan. Selçuk stated that during the same visit, the celebration of 2019 as the Year of Turkish Culture in Japan had also been taken up.

Selçuk congratulated Japan on being awarded the EXPO 2025 and said “I believe we will take the historical friendship and cooperation between Turkey and Japan further in the coming period.”

Following the speeches, guests were offered sushi and tempura dishes and Japanese rice wine sake to promote Japanese culture.

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