Indonesia and Japan are set to work closer to address regional issues, including issues concerning North Korea and Palestine, and to build synergy in realizing their visions for the Indo-Pacific. (Reuters Photo/Willy Kurniawan)

Indonesia, Japan Agree to Develop Indo-Pacific Strategy Together


JUNE 25, 2018

Jakarta. Indonesia and Japan are set to work closer to address regional issues, denuclearization of North Korea and peacebulding in Palestine.

The two countries will also seek synergy in realizing their visions for the Indo-Pacific region. Japan wants to promote connectivity between Asia, the Middle East and Africa through its Free and Open Indo-Pacific policy. Indonesia's grand maritime vision, the Global Maritime Fulcrum, aims to capitalize on its geographic position to make the country become a "fulcrum" of Indo-Pacific maritime activity.

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month agreed on a shared vision for maritime cooperation, which covers maritime safety and security, as well as efforts to enhance trade and investment and promote tourism. In May, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said the concept will be further discussed with members of the East Asia Summit when they meet in November in Singapore.

Japan also expressed willingness to strengthen its maritime cooperation with Indonesia.

"We agreed to coordinate and seek synergy between Japan's Free and Open Indo-Pacific strategy and Indonesia's Global Maritime Fulcrum vision," Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono told reporters in Jakarta on Monday (25/06).

Retno and Kono also discussed the South China Sea and both reaffirmed the importance of ensuring rule of law, freedom of navigation and demilitarization in the disputed waters.

Indonesia, which recently became a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for 2019-20, said it will use its term to contribute to the Asia Pacific region.

"Indonesia will use its time at the Security Council to contribute toward Asia Pacific's ecosystem of peace and prosperity," Retno said.

The two countries said they will also work together for the sake of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

"We reaffirm our commitment to the strict implementation of UN Security [Council] resolution and to press North Korea for complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of all weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles of all ranges," Kono said.

Both Retno and Kono are scheduled to attend the third ministerial meeting of the Conference on Cooperation Among East Asian Countries for Palestinian Development (Ceapad), which will take place on June 27 in Bangkok, Thailand. In this regard, the ministers expressed their commitment to collaborate and continue ongoing assistance to increase capacity building and development in Palestine.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of Indonesia-Japan relations. During his June 24-26 visit to Jakarta, Kono is also scheduled to meet Asean secretary general Lim Jock Hoi.