Kishida, Prabowo Agree to Strengthen Japan-Indonesia Ties

Eugene Hoshiko/Pool via REUTERS
Indonesian president-elect and current Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto, left, and Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, right, meet at the prime minister’s office, Wednesday, April 3, 2024, in Tokyo, Japan.

Tokyo (Jiji Press)—Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Indonesian President-elect Prabowo Subianto at a meeting in Tokyo on Wednesday agreed to strengthen their countries’ cooperative relations in security and other fields.

Kishida is hoping to deepen the bilateral collaboration to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific region, apparently keeping China’s growing presence in mind.

In the meeting at the prime minister’s office, Kishida congratulated Prabowo, who is currently Indonesia’s defense minister, on his victory in the presidential election in the Southeast Asian nation in February and welcomed his visit to Japan as “a Japan-oriented attitude.” The visit is “very encouraging,” Kishida said.

“I want (Japan and Indonesia) to further advance cooperation as comprehensive and strategic partners sharing basic values and principles,” the prime minister said, showing Japan’s readiness to offer support to Indonesia in areas including infrastructure and energy.

Kishida also told Prabowo that Japan will give a push for Indonesia’s bid to become a member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Prabowo, who is set to take office as president in October, said that the two countries have built a good cooperative relationship so far, and called on the Japanese leader to work together to achieve stronger ties in the future.. The president-elect expressed hopes to step up collaboration in the fields of defense, agriculture and fishery, and disaster prevention.

He later met with Japanese Defense Minister Minoru Kihara to discuss bilateral and multilateral security cooperation, including practical matters.

“We agreed to cooperate in a wide range of areas,” Kihara told reporters after the meeting, signaling Japan’s plans to deepen defense ties with Indonesia through educational exchanges, joint training and capacity-building assistance.

Before visiting Japan, Prabowo traveled to China for his first foreign trip after the election and met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing.