By Meryem Goktas
Japan’s ambassador in Ankara said he encourages Japanese businesspeople to invest in Turkey.
Speaking exclusively to Anadolu Agency, Akio Miyajima said one of the important issues between Turkey and Japan is how to maximize potential trade.
"I keep encouraging them [Japanese businesspeople] to come over here and to talk with Turkish businesspeople," he said.
Miyajima said Japanese businesspeople want "some stability", and that he is encouraging them saying assets are currently much cheaper in Turkey, and "a good profit can be made" given Turkey's potential for long-term development.
Noting the acceleration of the Japan-Turkey Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), Miyajima said that the two countries will go another round in the Turkish capital in December to have a basic agreement by the time Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visits Japan in June for the G20 summit to "finalize it".
"That is going to bring trade and investment opportunities for both businesses, so because Japan has already had an economic partnership agreement with the EU and Asia-Pacific countries," he said.
Miyajima added, "Turkey is going to be able to have an economic partnership agreement with Japan -- that is not just going to be a Turkey-Japan trade and investment, but Turkey is going to be connected to Europe and Asia-Pacific."
The ambassador said that this will "maximize the kind of potential" between the two countries.
Recalling last September’s business conference held in Istanbul, Miyajima said that 100 Japanese CEOs came to meet 400 Turkish businesspeople to discuss the improving trade, investment and cooperation in the African countries.
The 24th Turkey-Japan Business Council Joint Meeting was organized by the Turkish Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK).
"Japanese CEOs were a little bit hesitant to come to visit Turkey because of the persistent image, the perception that maybe Turkey is still not a safe place. But of course in September everybody was happy," he added.
Miyajima said people were more enthusiastic to visit Turkey, noting that the growth of Japanese tourists traveling to the country reached 80 percent in the first six months of 2018.
"We are now hoping that by the end of this year we are going to have around 100,000 Japanese travelers, but I am aiming much much more," he added.
Miyajima said that the upcoming visit of Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy in November could also contribute to the cooperation in tourism for 2019.
On the official visit of Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu to Japan between Nov. 4-6, Miyajima said that it was a "very successful visit".
In regards to the year 2019 which will be celebrated as Year of Turkish Culture in Japan, the ambassador said Cavusoglu's visit was also the "groundwork" for the visits in the upcoming year.
Rescue of Japanese journalist
On the rescue of Japanese journalist Jumpei Yasuda by Turkey from Syria last month, he said that Japan is "very grateful" for the Turkish government's help.
Yasuda went missing in Syria in 2015 and he was rescued from al-Qaeda captors by Turkish security and intelligence teams in consultations with Japanese authorities last month.
"That really proved once again that Turkey and Japan help each other," he added.