"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo


[Date] April 9, 2000
[Source] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Notes] April 4 to 9, 2000
[Full text]

1. At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yohei Kono of Japan, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem of the Republic of Turkey visited Japan from April 4 to 9, 2000. The aims of the visit were to make an overall review of the friendly relations and cooperation between the two countries which have been maintained since the 19th century and to seek new ways of cooperation in the 21st century.

2. The two countries have maintained traditionally amicable relations since the 19th century, and such relations have been deepened in every aspect, including political dialogue, trade and investment, and cultural exchange. In this context, the planned visit by a Turkish Navy ship to the port of Kushimoto, Wakayama Prefecture, to participate in the Commemoration Ceremony of the 110th Anniversary of the Erturul Incident on June 3 this year, is expected to be a good opportunity to renew the friendship.

3. The visit was made against the background of the deepening bilateral relationship, especially by the assistance and cooperation extended by Japan to Turkey to cope together with the outcome of the severe earthquakes which struck Turkey twice last year. Foreign Minister Cem expressed his deep appreciation for Japan's assistance and contribution to the immediate needs as well as recovery from those tragedies.

4. Foreign Minister Cem and Foreign Minister Kono held a meeting on April 6, 2000, and discussed a wide range of issues. Foreign Minister and Mrs. Cem were received in audience by Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Mikasa. Foreign Minister Cem also paid a courtesy call on Speaker Soichiro Ito of the House of Representatives. Foreign Minister Cem extended an invitation to Foreign Minister Kono to visit Turkey.

5. The Japanese side underscored the importance of Turkey as a key country to the stability and prosperity of the region, located at the crossroads between Europe and Asia. In this context, Japan welcomed the Presidency Conclusions of the Helsinki European Council that recognized Turkey's candidature to the European Union.

6. The Turkish side reconfirmed the importance of Asia in Turkey's foreign policy and emphasized the significance of the Turkish-Japanese partnership in its policy to opening to Asia.

7. The two Ministers underscored that the year 2000 would be an exceptional opportunity to achieve a comprehensive peace in the Middle East, and underlined the importance of international support for its realization. In this context, the Turkish side reiterated her continued support to the peace process as exemplified by her participation in the Temporary International Presence in Hebron, her contributions to the activities of the Working Groups of the Multilateral track, and her assistance to the Palestinians, which was welcomed by the Japanese side. The Turkish side valued Japan's continued contribution to the peace process, such as assistance to the Palestinians, dispatch of Japanese contingents to UNDOF, and activities in the multilateral tracks, in particular as the gavel-holder of the Environmental Working Group.

8. The two sides decided to exchange periodically their views on the situation in the Middle East, the Caucasus, and the Central Asian regions and to make efforts for regional stability and development.

9. In this context, besides the already existing cooperative efforts for Central Asia, such as training seminars in Turkey, both sides recognized the keen attention paid to the region by the private sector and welcomed the joint visit of a businessman delegation to Central Asia in 1998 upon the initiative of the Japan-Turkey Joint Economic Committee.

10. The two Ministers reaffirmed the need for international support for the reconstruction of Kosovo.

11. Both sides reconfirmed their resolute opposition to all kinds of terrorism regardless of their forms, origins, or motives.

12. The two sides called for an international engagement in combating transnational organized crimes and decided to make concerted efforts for the early adoption of the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its three supplementary Protocols. The two sides decided to strengthen their cooperation in the framework of the United Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) ,which coordinates drug control activities and assists Governments in their efforts against illicit trafficking and abuse of drugs.

13. The two Ministers agreed on the necessity of the reform of the United Nations. In this framework, they will continue to cooperate in their efforts regarding the early achievement of the Security Council reform in order to assure a better reflection of the current international situation.

14. The Turkish side expressed its appreciation for Japan's economic cooperation with Turkey, which has much contributed to the economic development of Turkey and the stability of the region, whereas both sides expressed their hope that the Bosphorus Rail Tube Crossing Project would become another symbol of cooperation between the two countries, in addition to the Second Bosphorus Bridge, which was financed as a loan aid project. Both sides welcomed the introduction of Japan's grant assistance for grass-roots projects in Turkey.

15. The Turkish side expressed its appreciation for the various assistance measures taken by Japan in coping with the disaster relief operations of the earthquakes, such as dispatching Japan Disaster Relief Teams, providing emergency grant aid as well as emergency aid materials, donation of pre-fabricated houses, transportation by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, extending an ODA loan for emergency measures for rehabilitation, assistance through NGOs, development studies, etc. Both sides shared the view that the cooperative relationship, symbolized in the "Japan Village" in Turkey, will remain unchanged.

16. Both sides took note of the fact that the economic and trade relations between the two countries have been steadily developing, as can be witnessed in the establishment of the Japan-Turkey Joint Economic Committee, conclusions of the Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation, the Agreement concerning the Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investment, and the Agreement for Air Services. They expressed their satisfaction with the exchanged notes regarding the amendment of the Annex of the Agreement for Air Services, which opened a "Silk Road in the air," and hoped that it would contribute to increasing tourism between the two countries. They confirmed their intention to make efforts to develop a well-balanced trade relationship. They further affirmed their support for the activities of the Japan-Turkey Joint Economic Committee.

17. The two Ministers underlined the importance of the cultural activities in bringing even closer and promoting mutual understanding between the Japanese and the Turkish nationals who cherish a deep-rooted friendship. The Ministers decided to continue efforts to further enhance the cultural relations. Recalling that the Turkish-Japanese Foundation Culture Center was established in 1998 as a result of the cooperation between the private and government sectors in the two countries, and that the opening ceremony was held with the presence of Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Tomohito of Mikasa, the two Ministers confirmed to further extend support to the activities of the Center.

18. The two Ministers welcomed the fact that the two countries had made greater efforts in the teachingeducation of each other's language, such as the Japanese language education at Ankara University, Erciyes University, and Canakkale 18 March University on one side and the Turkish language education at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies and Osaka University of Foreign Studies on the other. They also shared the view that the Youth Invitation Program greatly contributed to the deepening of mutual understanding between the youth of the two countries. The two Ministers also praised the progress in mutual understanding through increased exchange of students between the two countries and underlined the necessity to continue such exchanges.

19. As an embodiment of the cooperation between the two countries, the two Ministers decided to adopt the annexed "Japan-Turkey Joint Action Plan."