Japan conferred the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star on Turkish Deputy Defense Minister Alpaslan Kavaklioglu on Thursday for his contributions in strengthening bilateral relations.
The award was presented to Kavaklioglu by Japanese ambassador to Turkey Akio Miyajima on behalf of Emperor Naruhito Akihito.
Speaking on the occasion, Miyajima said Kavaklioglu has been working “very hard for many years” and has "strengthened the relationship and friendship between the two countries.”
“Japan is a very friendly country of Turkey historically, and the two are also strategic partners as well,” he told Anadolu Agency after the award ceremony.
The envoy said the Turkish official was a “great [role] model and a wonderful person to contribute [to this relationship].”
After receiving the award, Kavaklioglu expressed “surprise” on being nominated for it.
“I would say this is destiny,” he told Anadolu Agency.
Well-versed in the Japanese language, Kavaklioglu had visited Japan after the Great Hanshin earthquake, also known as the Kobe earthquake, in 1995.
“I went to investigate their [Japanese] reconstruction work and I stayed there for six months to take advantage of their experience,” he said.
Kavaklioglu served as the head of the Turkey-Japan Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group for six years between 2011 and 2017 before becoming deputy minister of defense.
During the long period of work with the Japanese government and people, "an emotional bond was formed,” Kavaklioglu said.
He went on to say that the two countries enjoy “sincere and friendly relations at the level of people, nation and state.”
“There is huge scope to further develop bilateral relations. We can strengthen our cooperation in several areas such as industry and technology,” he added.
Established in 1875 by Emperor Meiji, the Order of the Rising Sun was Japan’s first award and is now the third highest order bestowed by the Japanese government.
It is the highest-ranked Japanese award presented to foreigners and is divided into six classes, of which the Gold and Silver Star is the second class.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.