Tuesday, November 24, 2015


  Jakarta, Nov 24, 2015 (Antara) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) spent half the day on November 23, meeting some 1,100 Japanese guests in Jakarta at a reception held to celebrate Indonesian-Japanese partnership and demonstrate Indonesia's commitment to strengthening their friendship.
       The reception was organized just a day after Jokowi's bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit.
        "I dedicated half of the day on Monday to my honorable guests from Japan," the president said.
   The arrival of 1,100 Japanese guests in Indonesia, he said, showed how close the relationship between Indonesia and Japan is.
        Indonesia considers Japan a very important partner for development and maintaining regional peace and security.
         "Yesterday, I met with Prime Minister Abe in Kuala Lumpur and told him that Indonesia is a strategic partner of Japan, and we have long built these relations and must cooperate as good partners," he said.
        In the Kuala Lumpur meeting, Shinzo Abe shared the view and said Japan has been continuously establishing strategic relations with Indonesia in various fields.
        Abe said his country supports Indonesia's infrastructure development program as it would boost regional progress.
         Indonesia's development was crucial for the region's progress, therefore Japan extended support to Indonesia continuously, Abe said, as reported by Antara in Kuala Lumpur on Nov. 22.
         As for his 1,100 Japanese guests, including lawmakers, government officials, tourists and businessmen, President Jokowi believed their visit would strengthen the friendship between the two countries.
         "In the delegation, there are not only government officials but also politicians, businessmen and tourists who wish to tour Indonesia," he said.
        He said Indonesia is a country that offers a huge business opportunity. Japan has proven that such cooperation has so far been mutually beneficial.
       "We will push for higher economic growth and closer ties between the two countries," he said.
       As an open economy, the head of the state said Indonesia will continue to deregulate certain businesses, and efforts such as the recently issued six economic policy packages, have been aimed at promoting a more efficient and competitive economy.
        According to Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno LP Marsudi, a number of issues including a visa-free facility, were discussed when President Jokowi received the Japanese guests.
         Indonesia has already given the facility to the Japanese, hoping that the number of Japanese tourists to Indonesia would increase significantly.
       Also discussed were ways of enhancing cooperation in the fields of agriculture, infrastructure and other areas.
       "The President will assign ministers to follow up on the cooperation agreements arrived at in the field of economy," she said.
        In this regard, President Joko Widodo has named the Minister for National Development Planning/Head of National Development Planning Board, Sofyan Djalil, to be the "captain" to increase investment relations between Japan and Indonesia.    

   Chairman of the Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) Franky Sibarani said the Japanese investors' trust in Indonesia's investment potential remains high.

        The arrival in Indonesia of the 1,000 strong Japanese delegation showcases the high trust that Japan reposes in Indonesia's investment potential, he said.
         "I think the 1,000 member delegation from Japan is the biggest ever from any country," Franky said in a written statement recently.
        Data of the BKPM showed that Japan was ranked third on the list of investors who realized their projects in the January-September 2015 period with investment reaching 1,318  projects, valued at US$2.5 billion.
        On a separate occasion on Nov. 23, President Jokowi presented a "Bintang Jasa Utama" medal of honor to the chairman of the Japan-Indonesia Parliament League, Toshihiro Nikai, for his immense contribution to strengthening Indonesian-Japanese bilateral relations.
        President Joko Widodo presented the medal, the country's highest civilian honor, to Nikai at the State Palace.
       "The Bintang Jasa Utama medal has been given in recognition of the extraordinary services rendered to improve the friendly relations between Indonesia and Japan," Minister/State secretary Pratikno said.
        Toshihiro Nikai was the head of the 1,100-member delegation that was entertained by President Jokowi earlier in the day.
        Minister Retno LP Marsudi said the visit of the Japanese large delegation was aimed at increasing the people exchange programs between the two countries.
       Last year, more than 500 thousand Japanese tourists had visited Indonesia. This year, Indonesia hopes to receive at least 600 thousand Japanese tourists.
        The country has set a target of attracting some one million Japanese tourists by 2019. ***3***

(T.F001/A/BESSR/A. Abdussalam) 24
-11-2015 23:56:14

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