Japan conferred the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star on Turkish Deputy Defense Minister Alpaslan Kavaklioglu on Thursday for his contributions in strengthening bilateral relations.

The award was presented to Kavaklioglu by Japanese ambassador to Turkey Akio Miyajima on behalf of Emperor Naruhito Akihito.

Speaking on the occasion, Miyajima said Kavaklioglu has been working “very hard for many years” and has “strengthened the relationship and friendship between the two countries.”

“Japan is a very friendly country of Turkey historically, and the two are also strategic partners as well,” he told Anadolu Agency after the award ceremony.

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