Turkey and Japan, which are situated on the western and eastern banks of the Historical Silk Route, share strong bonds of friendship deep-rooted in history. The longstanding friendship between the two nations is based, among other things, on shared traditions and cultural values, which have survived through the ages despite the geographical distance separating the two countries.
The first known official relations between Turkey and Japan were initiated more than a century ago. Since then, the friendly relations between the two countries have steadily grown and reached remarkable levels of cooperation in various fields. The visit in 1887 of the nephew of Emperor Meiji, Prince Akihito Komatsu to Turkey marked the inaugural step in relations between Turkey and Japan in modern times. Prince Komatsu was received in an audience by the Ottoman Emperor and presented him a message of good will from Emperor Meiji.
In 1890, Ottoman Emperor Sultan Abdulhamit the Second sent a message in return to Emperor Meiji to reciprocate his gesture. The message of Sultan Abdulhamit the Second was delivered to Emperor Meiji by Admiral Osman Pasha who sailed to Japan on this special mission on board of a ship of the Ottoman Navy, the Ertugrul Frigate, thus becoming the first Ottoman Envoy to Japan .
Yet, on his voyage back home after successfully accomplishing his emission, the Ertugrul Frigate sunk off the coast of Ooshima (Kushimoto), Wakayama Prefecture on 16 September 1890 due to a severe typhoon. On the orders of the Japanese Emperor, the surviving 69 of the total 609 crew of the Frigate were sent back to Istanbul with two Japanese navy vessels. This tragedy, however, constituted a strong base on which the mutual understanding and friendly relations between Turkey and Japan develop.
For more information about Ertugrul Frigate, please click here. For information on a project which begun to explore the wreck of the Frigate, please click here (in Turkish).
Following the foundation of Republic of Turkey, diplomatic relations between two countries were established in 1924. Turkey and Japan opened their Embassies in Tokyo and Ankara respectively in 1925.
The current chancery and residence of the Turkish Embassy in Tokyo was designed by Mr. Kenzo Tange (1914-2005), famous Japanese architect.
For chronology of Turkey-Japan relations (in Turkish), please click here. For the list of Turkish Ambassadors to Japan, please click here.
For more information about Turkey-Japan political and economic relations, please visit www.mfa.gov.tr and www.mofa.go.jp .
For more information about economic and commercial relations between Turkey and Japan, please visit http://www.hmtokyo.jp and http://www.musavirlikler.gov.tr .