December 18, 2023
JAKARTA – President Joko Widodo attended a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister (PM) of Japan, Fumio Kishida at the PM’s office in Tokyo, Japan, on Saturday (16/12). For the bilateral meeting, the president was accompanied by Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto, Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Arifin Tasrif, Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung, Indonesian Ambassador to Japan Heri Akhmadi, and Secretary of the Coordinating Ministry for the Economy Susiwijono Moegiarso.
During the meeting, President Joko Widodo and PM Kishida discussed various frameworks of collaborations between the two countries in numerous fields. One of them being changes of the IJEPA protocol. The two leaders positively embraced the completion of substantive negotiations on the Protocol to Change the Indonesia-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (IJEPA), which was initiated in 2019 and is targeted to be implemented in the first quarter of 2024.
There are three main points in IJEPA for Indonesia. First, improving Indonesian market access in Japan. Second, expanding banking market access, and finally, cooperation with the Manufacturing Industrial Development Center (MIDEC) which can support Indonesian industry to become a regional production base.
In the MRT construction collaboration, President Joko Widodo expressed his appreciation on Japan’s commitment in building the east-west route and hoped that the next phase of construction could be completed according to plan. President Joko Widodo hopes that the construction of the north-south route phases 2A and 2B can be completed on time.
“I hope that the construction of the North – South Route for Phases 2A and 2B can be completed on time,” said President Joko Widodo. Meanwhile, related to the energy transition, Indonesia as the Co-initiator of the Asia Zero Emission Community (AZEC) reaffirmed the importance of De-Carbonization cooperation, inclusive financing and low-carbon technology transfer. Apart from that, AZEC must be able to ensure the follow-up to the 12 Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) that were signed at the AZEC Ministerial level meeting several months ago.
President Joko Widodo also asked for support to accelerate three priority projects. “We ask for support to accelerate three priority projects, namely the Geothermal Power Plant in Muara Laboh, the Legok Nangka Waste to Energy project in West Java, and peatland management in Central Kalimantan,” stressed President Joko Widodo.
Apart from that, there are three other collaborations between Indonesia and Japan that were agreed upon the bilateral meeting, which are agreeing to grant a patrol boat for the Maritime Security Agency of the Republic of Indonesia (Bakamla), accelerating the construction of the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) route, and a Memorandum of Understanding in the health sector.
During the meeting, the two leaders of the country also discussed cooperation in the critical minerals and maritime sectors. President Joko Widodo hopes that Japan can support the progress of downstreaming the Indonesian mineral industry and Indonesia’s contribution as a vital part of the global electric vehicle (EV) battery supply chain. “I also hope for greater support for the economic development of Indonesia’s outer islands, including the development of the fishing industry as well as grants for patrol and fishing boats,” said President Joko Widodo.
The two leaders also inaugurated cooperation in the health sector, especially cardiovascular. The second meeting resulted in a Memorandum of Understanding between Rumah Sakit Jantung dan Pembulu Darah Harapan Kita and Tokushukai Medical Corporation worth 10 billion yen or 1 trillion rupiah.
Finally, President Joko Widodo and PM Kishida also discussed issues regarding Palestine. President Joko Widodo stressed Indonesia’s commitment to advocating for a permanent ceasefire, planning sustainable humanitarian assistance, and encouraging the start of a peace process to achieve a two-state solution as soon as possible.
Coordinating Minister Airlangga, who accompanied President Joko Widodo, emphasized that he would follow up and coordinate the results of discussions at bilateral meetings between the two countries, especially regarding various collaborations within the framework of the Asia Zero Emission Community (AZEC).
This article was published in collaboration with Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs Republic of Indonesia