Despite the geographical distance, Japan and Türkiye have traditionally maintained deep and friendly relations, which have grown much closer in recent years: the bilateral relations, which were evolved to a strategic partnership in 2013, have become more active in various fields, such as the economy, culture and education. This is probably due to Türkiye’s increasing geopolitical and strategic importance to Japan.
In particular, from an economic perspective, Türkiye has a huge domestic consumer market of over 80 million people. Türkiye also has a demographic structure supported by youthful population, and a high-quality labor force, making it a major power in the Middle East region with huge future growth potential. In addition to its domestic consumption market, Türkiye’s position as a bridge between Europe and Asia and its geographical convenience make it an important production base for the markets of neighbouring countries and a partner for third country expansion.
Next year we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Türkiye, and we would like to strengthen economic cooperation relations, in various areas, including energy cooperation and increased investment from Japan to Türkiye.
Besides liberalizing and facilitating trade between the two countries, the Japan-Türkiye EPA will promote investment by Japanese companies in Türkiye through the arrangement of rules.
Furthermore, I am convinced that the further revitalization of economic relations between Japan and Türkiye through the EPA may bring about various positive impact from the Turkish perspective. It will not only boost the recovery of Türkiye’s economy affected by the massive earthquake, but will also contribute to an increase in exports from Türkiye and the entry of Turkish companies into the growing East Asian market. More opportunities for employment in Türkiye will be created as a result of increased Japanese investment.
Looking beyond the business and economic sector, the Türkiye-Japan Science and Technology University (TJU) in Istanbul is expected to open in the coming year, and will offer two prior majors, “Energy and Environment” and “Earthquake Science and Disaster Management”.
The earthquake that hit the southeastern region of Türkiye in February 2023 inflicted severe damage on the region. It’s time for Japan to strengthen cooperative relations with Türkiye in the field of disaster prevention technology and TJU is expected to play an important role in this regard.
The global cross-border challenges have been increasing and I believe that there is a wide scope for both countries to work together to resolve these issues.
With regard to climate change, Japan aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, and Türkiye aims to achieve by 2053. Through the Japanese companies’ decarbonisation technologies, Japan may contribute to the business promotion between two countries as well as the decarbonisation of Türkiye. By introducing Japanese technologies such as renewable energy, energy saving, hydrogen and fuel ammonia production and supply chain construction, CCUS.
In the field of medical and health, with private-public initiative, Japan and Türkiye cooperated to build Başakşehir Çam & Sakura City Hospital in May 2020, which is the most advanced general hospital in Türkiye. The establishment of this hospital symbolizes Japan’s contribution to Türkiye’s strategy for combating Covid-19 infection as well as to the medical and health sector in Türkiye.