Japan-Indonesia Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and Working Lunch
December 17, 2015
On December 17, commencing at 1:15 p.m. for approximately 60 minutes, Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, held a foreign ministers’ meeting and working lunch with H.E. Ms. Retno L.P. Marsudi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, who was visiting Japan. The overview is as follows.
1. Opening remarks
Minister Kishida explained that the two countries are strategic partners with a long and friendly relationship, and that the two countries’ first foreign and defense ministers’ meeting was also scheduled to be held on the same day. He also expressed his expectation that cooperation would grow stronger in all fields, including politics, security, diplomacy, the economy, and culture. Foreign Minister Retno stated that she is convinced that cooperation between the two countries can contribute to regional peace and stability.
2. Bilateral relations
(1) Diplomacy and security
Minister Kishida explained that free, peaceful, and open seas are shared interests of both countries, which are maritime nations and expressed that Japan wants to promote maritime cooperation with Indonesia. The two ministers shared the view that the Japan-Indonesia Maritime Forum would be held soon. In regard to cooperation in the maritime field, Foreign Minister Retno requested cooperation for the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), which Indonesia is chairing.
(2) Economy and economic cooperation
Minister Kishida explained that in the interests of expanding the mutually beneficial economic relationship, Japan intends to cooperate on infrastructure development and other areas, and hopes to obtain cooperation on making the new port project in metropolitan area a representative cooperation project in which both countries’ public and private sectors participate. Minister Kishida also mentioned Indonesia’s new Mining Law. Foreign Minister Retno expressed the view that where the development of maritime infrastructure is concerned, it will also be important to move ahead with talks on fundraising, and also stated that Indonesia hopes to promote cooperation in various infrastructure fields, including urban rail.
(3) People-to-people and cultural exchanges
Minister Kishida welcomed the implementation of both countries’ visa exemptions and expressed expectation that exchanges would increase. The two ministers shared the view that visas would be reciprocally waivered for diplomatic and official passport holders.
3. Challenges facing the region and international community
(1) Regional affairs
The two foreign ministers exchanged views on the situation in the South China Sea, and Minister Kishida welcomed that the general election was generally held freely and fairly in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. Minister Kishida also stated that the stability of Myanmar’s new government, which will be formed with the support of the great majority of Myanmar’s citizens for the first time in 55 years, is vital to the peace and prosperity of Myanmar and the region overall.
Foreign Minister Retno stated her intention to cooperate to ensure that the transition from the current government to the next government in Myanmar proceeds peacefully.
(2) Disarmament and non-proliferation
In regard to nuclear disarmament, Minister Kishida noted that it would be essential to steadily implement practical and concrete measures on which nuclear and non-nuclear states could cooperate. Minister Kishida expressed gratitude for Indonesia’s support of Japan-proposed resolution on the total abolition of nuclear weapons, and also stated that Japan intends to deepen dialogue and cooperation with Indonesia, which is an important partner and a coordinator of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in the field of disarmament, in order to realize a world without nuclear weapons. Foreign Minister Retno stated that Indonesia hopes to work together with Japan, which is the chair country for the Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).
(3) United Nations Security Council (UNSC) reform
Minister Kishida explained that Japan attaches importance to UNSC reform, and that it will be important to obtain specific outcomes during the current session of the UN General Assembly, including commencing intergovernmental negotiations in New York based on written agreements, and expressed his intention to cooperate closely.