Japan-Indonesia Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
On March 29, commencing at 5:35 p.m. for 75 minutes, Mr. MOTEGI Toshimitsu, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, held a Foreign Ministers’ Meeting with H.E. Ms. Retno L.P. Marsudi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, who is visiting Japan. The overview of the meeting is as follows.
- At the outset, Minister Motegi expressed his sympathy to the victims of the terror attack in Makassar, Indonesia on March 28, stating that terrorism cannot be justified for any reason and Japan strongly condemns such act of terrorism. Minister Motegi mentioned that Indonesia is a strategic partner of Japan and a regional power accounting up to 40% of the population, GDP, and size of ASEAN. Minister Motegi expressed Japan’s intention to further strengthen cooperation with Indonesia for enhancing a Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP). In response, Minister Retno expressed Indonesia’s intention to continue working closely with Japan on bilateral relations, regional issues, and other issue of wide range.
- Regional affairs
The two Ministers exchanged candid views regarding regional affairs from the perspective of overall foreign policy, ahead of the Japan-Indonesia Foreign and Defense Ministerial Meeting (“2+2”) to be held on March 30. Minister Motegi expressed serious concerns about China’s recent developments in the region such as the Coast Guard Law. The two Ministers exchanged views on the situations in the East and South China Sea. Furthermore, two Ministers also shared serious concerns about the continued and strengthened unilateral attempts to change the status quo. The two Ministers confirmed that it was important for countries with shared values, including Japan and Indonesia, to lead the creation of a free and open international order based on the rule of law and ensure peace, stability and prosperity of the international community founded on a common recognition, and that the two countries would continue to cooperate closely.
The two Ministers held an in-depth exchange of views on the situation in Myanmar in light of the transition of the situation since their telephone talk earlier this month. Minister Motegi strongly condemned the situation that continues to cause a large number of deaths and injuries in the country, with the death toll reaching the highest number on March 27 alone. Minister Motegi welcomed the efforts of ASEAN to overcome the situation and expressed respect for the leadership exercised by Indonesia. In response, Minister Retno explained the discussions among ASEAN countries, including Myanmar, and the efforts to be implemented. The two Ministers shared the view on continuing to coordinate closely toward improving the situation.
- Bilateral relations
(1) Minister Motegi noted on the importance of realizing economies that can withstand a crisis, such as by achieving multilayered supply chains, in order to recover the economy hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Minister Motegi stated that Japan has supported diversification of production bases by Japanese companies and intends to continue contributing to the creation of employment and human resources development in Indonesia, which were welcomed by Minister Retno.
(2) Minister Motegi announced Japan’s provision of assistance of approximately 400 million yen to Indonesia for building a cold chain as a countermeasure for COVID-19. Minister Retno expressed appreciation for Japan’s cooperation. The two Ministers agreed that it was essential for vaccines to fairly reach all over the world in order to contain the pandemic, and that international cooperation was critical to this end.
(3) Minister Motegi noted on the possibility of providing an ODA loan of approximately 70 billion yen for the development of the Patimban Port, which would be a part of Japan’s infrastructure cooperation for improving connectivity to promote FOIP and the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP). Minister Retno expressed appreciation for Japan’s cooperation and Indonesia’s intention to strengthen infrastructure cooperation with Japan.
(4) Minister Motegi called on Indonesia to lift its import restrictions on Japanese food products. Minister Motegi also asked for Indonesia’s cooperation on this year’s Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan, and Minister Retno wished for the success of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.