Olives, which have been imported from Europe, are used as cooking ingredients, and they are now in fairly widespread use in Japan as olive oils. It is advertised that the taste and fragrance of olives match the atmosphere of Japan, and that olives are good for people’s health and beauty.
I was invited to a ceremony to promote the production of Turkish olives throughout Japan which was held at the Embassy of Turkey. The ceremony showed the attendants how strongly the Turkish government was supporting this campaign. I made a speech both at the ceremony and the party and said, “I am confident that if Turkish olives are not only imported but also planted and produced in Japan, it will definitely lead to the restoration of agriculture in Japan, and also contribute to the friendship and goodwill between Japan and Turkey.”
I have had a close relationship with Turkey for a long time. I have engaged in the promotion of energy cooperation between Turkey and Japan, and for this purpose, I have once visited Turkey. In addition, it is noted that the friendly relationship between the two countries has lasted for more than one century, and this relationship derives from a historical event described as follows:
In 1890, a sailing frigate of Turkey (the then Ottoman Empire) named, ‘Ertugrul’ encountered the heavy typhoon and was shipwrecked off the Cape of Kashinozaki located in Oshima Village (Kushimoto Town, at present), Wakayama Prefecture on the way of returning to Turkey. It is said that more than 500 sailors and officers died, and only 69 sailors and officers were rescued by the desperate efforts of the residents of Oshima Village. Later on, to mourn for the victims of the shipwreck, and keep the record of the villagers’ efforts by which the survivors were rescued, the Turkish Sailors Monument and the Turkish Museum were built in Kushimoto Town. In this place, every five years, the memorial ceremony is held jointly by the Turkish Embassy and the Kushimoto Town.
[Photo] In the center, Madame Mercan, wife of Turkish Ambassador to Japan. Next to her on the right, Mr. Isao Iijima, Special Advisor to the Cabinet.