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Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan underscored the intent to bolster security ties with Indonesia during discussions with president-elect Prabowo Subianto on Wednesday. This meeting marked the second leg of Prabowo’s diplomatic tour, following his visit to Beijing, as he engages with neighboring Asian nations.

Prabowo, currently serving as Jakarta’s defense minister, commenced his diplomatic engagements by meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier in the week. This inaugural visit to a key trade partner occurred subsequent to Prabowo’s victory in the presidential election held in February. During the Beijing talks, Chinese officials expressed a willingness to deepen comprehensive strategic cooperation with Indonesia.

Subsequently, Prabowo journeyed to Tokyo, where he engaged in discussions with Prime Minister Kishida. The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that Kishida emphasized Japan’s profound commitment to collaborating with Indonesia in upholding and reinforcing the free and open international order rooted in the rule of law.

Moreover, Kishida highlighted Japan’s intention to further security cooperation with Indonesia, in addition to the provision of a substantial patrol vessel pledged in December 2023. The terminology “free and open” and “rule of law” often deployed by the United States and its allies, including Japan, subtly allude to countering China’s escalating assertiveness in the Asia-Pacific region.

While China remains a significant source of foreign direct investment in Indonesia, pouring substantial investments into projects across the archipelago nation, Prabowo expressed gratitude for Japan’s assistance and conveyed his aspirations to augment bilateral cooperation across diverse sectors such as security, agriculture, fisheries, and disaster prevention.

Currently en route to Malaysia, according to the Indonesian defense ministry, Prabowo’s diplomatic endeavors signify a pivotal moment in shaping regional security dynamics and fostering strategic partnerships in Southeast Asia.

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