Home >  News >  Speech and Statements by the Prime Minister >  May 2013 >  Congratulatory Remarks by H.E. Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, at the 20th Japan-Turkey Joint Economic Committee Meeting

Speeches and Statements by the Prime Minister

Congratulatory Remarks by H.E. Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, at the 20th Japan-Turkey Joint Economic Committee Meeting

Friday, May 3, 2013

Ankara, Turkey
[Provisional Translation]

Your Excellency Mr. Zafer Caglayan, Minister of Economy,
Mr. Kazuaki Kama, Chairman of the Japan-Turkey Economic Committee of Nippon Keidanren,
Mr. Mehmet Nurettin Pekarun, Chairman of the Turkish-Japanese Business Council of the DEIK,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning.Günaydın.

Toruko, Toruko, Toruko - the Japanese name for Turkey. For many Japanese, it is a name that rings soothingly in our ears. It is a sound that gives rise to steady and endearing memories.

I think you who are able to work linking Turkey and Japan are truly fortunate, as friendship and trust run between our two countries. This is because the bonds of a heart-to-heart friendship have been interlaced between us ever since the Ertuğrul incident.

It was exactly thirty years ago that a Japanese Foreign Minister first visited Turkey.

That Foreign Minister thirty years ago was my father, Shintaro Abe. I was serving as his secretary at the time, and so it was thirty years ago that I first set foot in this country. This trip is a bit of a nostalgic journey for me.

It was four years later, in 1987, that you established the Japan-Turkey Joint Economic Committee Meeting. With today marking the twentieth such meeting, I have been fortunate in having returned at a good milestone.

I would be very pleased if our dialogue and our relationship with each other deepen across a wide spectrum of fields and we engage in a large number of concrete cooperation projects having a human touch, with my visit adding further impetus.

In recent years, Turkey's growth has been truly striking. Its growth rate is essentially contending for first or second place among all the G20 countries, I believe. And I understand that the average age of Turkey's population is 29.

This leads me to recall that in Japan there was a song called "Wakai-tte subarashii" - "It's wonderful to be young."

You can't blame Japan's business leaders for looking intensely at the Turkish people, hardworking and forward-looking as you are.

This is because everyone - myself included - is thinking how magnificent it would be if Japan and Turkey were to team up.

Japan has technologies, industrial knowledge, and know-how. It is also the third largest economy in the world. There can be no doubt that an ideal synergy would emerge between Japan and a youthful Turkey.

Nuclear power generation is among the prime examples of this. Energy generated in Turkey will cross international borders to reach a tremendous number of households.

And then, there are also bridges and the subway.

Turkey is from olden days a country that is a connecting point for traffic from East and West. If we are able to utilize that to facilitate the smooth movement of people, making it easier for people to come and go, the ripple effects will certainly be priceless.

Working together with Turkey, Japan can successfully undertake that kind of meaningful task. There is no question that the efforts of Japanese engineers have been paying off.

The potential for cooperation between our two countries in fact knows no bounds. We can say the expression "the sky's the limit" applies here. I am now thinking of cooperation in space, such as in communications satellites.

Looking at this kind of cooperation between our "grey matter," the areas for cooperation will expand more and more, including in education and medical services. Incidentally, since Turkey is a major culinary power, it will also be a sizable market for Japanese ingredients.

As Turkey's dynamism rubs off a bit on Japan, Japan too will have a strong desire to rejuvenate once more and recover its strength.

In July last year, the governments of our two countries successfully launched a framework for discussing concrete ways of promoting trade and investment.

In Japan there immediately appeared companies that were awarded major projects in Turkey and are moving forward with them. This is a very welcome development.

The government has to take care of the work of the government. I would like to state that we will work to find the answers to our "homework" by making efforts together with you in the Joint Economic Committee.

We will steadily advance joint research on the possibility of starting negotiations for the Japan-Turkey Economic Partnership Agreement and make all-out efforts to move forward on work to conclude a social security agreement.

This afternoon I will engage in a frank exchange of views with Prime Minister Erdogan about a variety of issues, including political and economic matters. We will discuss having our Foreign Ministries put effort into strategic dialogue as well as launching inter-governmental consultations, including in the area of defense.

Through these endeavors I believe that Japan-Turkey relations will enter a new dimension.

In closing, I would like to say a few words about Istanbul and Tokyo. First of all, if Istanbul is selected to host the Olympic Games, then I will be the first person to send up an emphatic hurrah for Istanbul. And in return, should the Olympic Games come to Tokyo, then I hope that the people of Turkey will be the first to congratulate Tokyo.

Thank you for your kind attention this morning.Teşekkür ederim.

Page Top

Related Link