Jakarta. Indonesia is hoping for Japan to take part in a megaproject to build the new capital city when leaders from both countries met in Bogor on Friday.
Japan has been involved in several major infrastructure projects initiated by Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo such as Jakarta’s mass rapid transit [MRT] system and the brand new Patimban Port for automotive export in West Java.
“Moving forward, Indonesia hopes for Japan’s involvement in other infrastructure projects such as in the Nusantara capital and Ambon Port,” Jokowi said in a joint conference with visiting Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at Bogor Palace, West Java.
Preparations are underway to relocate the nation's capital from Jakarta to an area in East Kalimantan.
Jokowi earlier announced that he sought to make Nusantara a "10-minute-city", in which people could travel from one point to another in a flash.
The president also wants 80 percent of the trips within the city to be made by public transport. The government estimated that the new capital project would cost Rp 466 trillion ($32 billion), of which the state would fund 20 percent. The megaproject will mostly rely on public-private partnerships and private investment.
Jokowi's meeting with Kishida was not the first time that Indonesia spoke of the Nusantara project with Japan.
Public Works and Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono also talked about the megaproject with Japanese Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Tetsuo Saito at last week's Fourth Asia-Pacific Water Summit in Kumamoto, Japan. Indonesia asked Japan for consultations on enhancing the building quality in the yet-to-be-built capital.
"Japan will consider sending experts to gather information on the new capital planning, and hope to share the knowledge with the Indonesian government. We wish for the capital relocation to run smoothly," Saito was quoted as saying in the Public Works Ministry press statement.
Infrastructure projects have become an integral part of Indonesia-Japan bilateral ties.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) funded the construction of Jakarta's MRT system which has saved many commuters from the severe traffic congestion in the city. JICA provided Indonesia with a loan of about 125.237 billion yen for the Phase I of Jakarta MRT construction, which has now connected Lebak Bulus to the Hotel Indonesia Roundabout, followed by another 70.021 billion yen for Phase II.
The Phase II of MRT construction will extend the existing network to West Ancol.
Indonesia also received a 118.906 billion yen soft loan from JICA to construct the Patimban seaport in Subang, West Java.
Pelabuhan Patimban International (PPI) and Toyota Tshusho Corporation —the trading arm of Japanese auto giant Toyota Corporation— are now jointly operating the Patimban Port.