By Tevfik Durul
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Wednesday described Japan as Turkey's chief economic partner in the Asia-Pacific area.
His remarks came after meeting his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida in Tokyo to discuss bilateral relations, and regional and global issues as part of a two-day official visit.
"Japan is our biggest economic partner in the Asia-Pacific region," Cavusoglu said during a joint press conference with Kishida after the meeting.
Cavusoglu said that Turkey is pleased that Japanese companies played an important role in the completion of important infrastructure projects in Turkey.
He said that work on Sinop Nuclear Power Plant on Turkey's Black Sea coast continued in cooperation with Japan.
The Turkish minister said concrete steps will be taken for the construction of Turkish-Japanese Science and Technology University, which was approved by Turkish Parliament on June 12.
The university, to be set up in Istanbul’s Pendik district in collaboration with Japan, will have engineering, basic sciences and social sciences faculties.
On the occasion, the Japanese foreign minister welcomed Cavusoglu's visit and said that they would continue to develop a multi-tiered cooperation between the two countries.
Earlier in the day, the Turkish foreign minister began his visit by meeting representatives of the business and tourism sectors in the country's capital.
Cavusoglu met with a delegation of business representatives under the chairmanship of the chief executive officer of Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Kenichiro Yamanishi, in Tokyo.
He later participated in a round table meeting with the representatives of travel agencies to develop tourism opportunities between Turkey and Japan.
The minister visited the Yunus Emre Institute, Turkey’s nonprofit organization which promotes the country’s language and culture abroad.
He also visited the Tokyo Mosque and met with representatives of the Turkish and Muslim communities.
Also known as "Tokyo Camii", it was completed in 1938 by a Turkish community from Kazan (Russia), but fell into disrepair. A major reconstruction operation was completed by Turkish architect Muharrem Hilmi Senalp in 2000 with help from the Tokyo Turkish Association.
Cavusoglu's two-day visit is the first from Turkey to Japan at Foreign Ministerial level in 14 years.
The Turkish top diplomat is scheduled to meet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday.
He is also expected to meet Japan's minister of economy, trade and industry Hiroshige Seko.
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