60 years on, Japan-Indonesia strategic partnership grows stronger

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60 years on, Japan-Indonesia strategic partnership grows stronger

Since Japan and Indonesia established bilateral relations in 1958, much has been achieved. Trust, investment and a spirit of partnership have enabled the relationship to grow beyond economic and political ties and encompass friendship and social responsibility.

Over the last decade, Japan has become one of Indonesia’s top export destinations. 2016 saw Japanese foreign direct investment to Indonesia increase by almost 90 percent. Today, there are over 1,800 Japanese companies in Indonesia and new joint ventures and partnerships are being established across a range of industries.

“Recently, we passed the $1 trillion economy mark, our stock index hit a record high and our credit rating has improved dramatically,” said Sony Harsono, a member of the Republic of Indonesia’s National Committee for the Economy and Industry.

“The Japanese have invested heavily in Indonesia and their contribution to the country includes port developments, megapower plants and public transport projects. Our economic partnership agreement continues to fuel business between our two countries,” he explained.

“Last year, Japanese investment in Indonesia totaled $5 billion U.S. dollars,” said Masafumi Ishii, Japan’s ambassador to Indonesia. “Japanese companies have created close to 5 million jobs and more than 90 percent of these have gone to Indonesians. 10 percent of the country’s gross domestic product and 20 percent of its exports are created by Japanese companies today.”

Naoki Ando Chief Rep JICA Indonesia

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Cutting-edge Japanese tunnel construction technology is applied to the MRT project. The operation of the TBMs (Senayan and Setiabudi) is implemented by 100 Indonesian engineers with assistance from five Japanese engineers. JICA not only contributes to the construction itself, but also offers technical transfers to Indonesia through the MRT project.

According to the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in Indonesia, the developing nation is also the largest recipient of Japanese official development assistance. With Japan’s support, Indonesia is building infrastructure to create economic growth.

In November, JICA signed key loan agreements with the government of Indonesia to support the development of Patimban Port. By presidential decree, the development has been declared a national strategic project to strengthen the international port logistics capacity of the Jakarta metropolitan area.

Japan’s support for the improvement of connectivity across Indonesia and internationally began in the 1970s. Japan has contributed to 20 percent of the toll road construction around greater Jakarta and the development of five airports, including Bali, Surabaya and Palembang.
JICA is currently cooperating with the Ministry of Transportation and other key stakeholders to construct a mass rapid transit (MRT) system in Jakarta. The MRT will link suburban areas to the capital and is expected to carry more than 400,000 daily commuters by 2020.

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Masafumi Ishii, Ambassador of
Japan to Indonesia

Technical exchange and cooperation between Japan and Indonesia is also notable. Japan has welcomed approximately 4,400 trainees from Indonesia over the last 60 years, while Japan has sent over 4,000 technical experts to Indonesia.

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has met with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on several occasions and the two have committed to continuing cooperation on key projects.

“In this milestone anniversary year, we are launching Project 2045,” said Ishii. “We intend to project how Indonesia will have developed by 2045, the country’s 100th year since independence and identify areas for future Japan-Indonesia cooperation . We expect infrastructure and vocational training to play key roles, in addition to new areas such as e-commerce, addressing the challenges of an aging society, environmental protection and urbanization solutions. To mark our 60-year anniversary, we want to acknowledge our achievements and build on our close friendship to benefit future generations.”

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