Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba paid a two-day visit to Turkey earlier this month. In an email interview, Selçuk Esenbel, a Japan specialist at Bosphorus University, discussed Japan-Turkey relations.
WPR: How deep are diplomatic and trade relations between Japan and Turkey, and what is their recent trajectory?
Selçuk Esenbel: Since Japan and what was to ultimately become the modern state of Turkey first established relations in 1873, ties have been friendly with no serious conflicts of interest. Geographic distance has hampered the development of close trade ties, but generally speaking Turkey has always been very friendly toward Japan. Since the end of World War II, Japan and Turkey have been in the same geopolitical bloc as part of America’s military alliance security architecture.