By Ahmet Furkan Mercan
ANKARA (AA) - A senior Japanese politician on Thursday pitched for building a strategic relationship between Japan and Turkey.
“Japan and Turkey are the countries who have deep and historical friendship and should make efforts to be strategic partners,” Natsuo Yamaguchi, leader of the Komeito party, told Anadolu Agency during his official visit to Ankara.
Komeito party is junior coalition partner of Japan’s ruling alliance led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party.
Natsuo, who is also member of Japanese national legislature, known as the Diet, said both countries can develop cooperation to tackle common problems, as well as maintain stability and peace in the world.
Suggesting that both countries enjoy historical bilateral relations dating back to the Ottoman Empire, Japanese politician recalled the incident of Ottoman frigate Ertugrul in 1890, which is still commemorated as a foundation stone of Turkish-Japanese friendship.
The imperial ship carrying 602 sailors was returning from a goodwill voyage to Japan, when it sank, off the coast of Wakayama Prefecture.
It resulted the loss of 533 sailors and officers, including Rear Admiral Ali Osman Pasha.
Japanese villagers in Kashinozaki rescued 69 Turk sailors, who were transported back to Istanbul, aboard the Japanese corvettes Kongo and Hiej.
Natsuo expressed his desire to strengthening relations not only in politics, but also in the fields of economy and security.
“We need to implement economic and commercial policies for the future of young people,” he said, hoping that the economic partnership agreement will be concluded soon.
He said high-level reciprocal visits between Japan and Turkey have gained momentum in the recent times.
Natsuo hoped that most critical projects between Turkey and Japan, the Turkish-Japanese University of Science and Technology, will be operational soon.
He suggested that both countries can extensively cooperate to promote tourism by increasing frequency of direct flights.
*Writing by Gozde Bayar