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Indonesia Pushes For ASEAN – Japan Maritime Partnership

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JAKARTA – Indonesia is pushing for strengthening cooperation in maritime and human resource fields between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members and Japan since they can be regional partners, Indonesia’s Antara news agency reports.

Indonesian president Joko Widodo gave a call for this at the 19th ASEAN-Japan Summit at the National Convention Center, Vientiane, Wednesday.

He said he considered Japan an important partner of ASEAN member countries.

“For more than forty years, the partnership between ASEAN and Japan has proven strong and has contributed to peace, regional stability and achievement of common welfare,” he underlined.

He reminded that this long partnership was the main capital on which ASEAN and Japan can build further to ensure that people reap the real benefits.

He counseled that concrete cooperation needs to be boosted in two sectors in the future.

“First is the maritime sector. The ASEAN region and Japan are connected through strategic waters which are economically very valuable. In view of that,
maritime connectivity in the region would lead to a more connected and integrated region, making it conducive for economic growth,” he argued.

President Joko Widodo also stressed to enhance cooperation in developing reliable human resources to support the development in ASEAN and Japan. This
needs to be done through technological and vocational development.

“ASEAN and Japan must push for cooperation to increase the quality of education, including vocational training, technical training, business management and technological development as well as youth and students¿ exchange programs,” he elaborated.

President Joko Widodo also touched on the popularity of “Manga,” a Japanese creative work that has been popular across the world.

He hoped that people would not only know “Manga” but will also benefit directly from the partnership between ASEAN and Japan.

“Most of us certainly know the “Manga” comic books well and perhaps also like it. Manga readers in Indonesia are the second biggest in the world after those in Finland. I hope my people will not only know Manga but also feel directly the benefit of ASEAN-Japan partnership,” he commented.

After the 19th ASEAN-Japan summit, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi told reporters that at the meeting, President Joko Widodo appreciated the program
carried out by the Japanese government, namely JENESYS 2.0 that was launched in April 2005 to replace its previous version.

“For 2016, an allocation has been made for 250 students from Indonesia. Thus, in 2016, 250 participants from Indonesia will benefit from the JENESYS program, which is a bonding factor in the relationship between ASEAN and Japan,” she underscored. – BERNAMA

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