Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo during a previous meeting on April 22, 2015. (JG Photo/Yudhi Sukma Wijaya)

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe Visits Indonesia to Discuss Economic Opportunities, Maritime Affairs


JANUARY 15, 2017

Jakarta. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was expected to arrive in Indonesia for a two-day visit on Sunday (15/01), accompanied by 30 chief executives from his country, making him the first foreign leader to visit the country in 2017.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir said the two leaders are expected to discuss several pertinent issues on economics and social, cultural and maritime affairs. This includes the situation in the South China Sea and the Korean Peninsula.

"Issues pertaining to the economy will take up a larger portion of this meeting between Abe and President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo," Arrmanatha said.

He added that the Japanese chief executives accompanying Abe come from diverse business backgrounds, including banking, manufacturing, transportation and the steel industry.

The meeting between Abe and Jokowi will be their fourth in less than two years.

"Japan is Indonesia's strategic partner, which we can see from the two countries' trade relations that have continued to develop," Arrmanatha said.

Between January and October last year, the trade balance between the two countries stood at $23.8 billion, while Japanese investments, focused on the textile and machinery market in Indonesia, almost doubled to $4.85 billion in the same period.

Abe and Jokowi are also expected to discuss the change in the United States government, as well as Brexit.

"In matters regarding the South China Sea, which is of ultimate importance for us all, Indonesia wants to ensure that there is peace and stability in the region. We might discuss it further in an upcoming two-plus-two meeting," Arrmanatha said, referring to regular meetings between the Japanese and Indonesian ministers of foreign affairs and defense, which first took place in Tokyo in December 2015.

Benjamin Carnadi, a director at the Foreign Ministry, added that as a maritime country, Japan is the perfect partner for Indonesia.

"We will be able to synergize. We have to promote cooperation, we can also look up to Japan's technology when we build our infrastructure," Benjamin said.