PUTRAJAYA – Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today received a courtesy call from Japanese Justice Minister Yoko Kamikawa at his office at the Perdana Putra here today.
In the 40-minute meeting, Ahmad Zahid and Kamikawa discussed issues such as Malaysia-Japan bilateral relations, trade and investment as well as security issues including terrorism, where Japan expressed interest in Malaysia’s deradicalisation programme.
Kamikawa also extended an invitation to Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, to attend the 14th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice to be held in Japan in 2020.
Japan also invited the Attorney-General Tan Sri Apandi Ali to the congress.
Ahmad Zahid in a statement issued today said Malaysia appreciated the continuing presence of Japanese investors who were among the major sources of foreign direct investment in the manufacturing sector in the country.
In 2016, Japan was Malaysia’s fourth largest trading partner and Malaysia was the tenth largest Japanese trading partner where bilateral trade in the year was at RM120.26 billion (US$28.98 billion), he said.
Between January and July last year, he said, the trade value stood at RM80.28 billion (US$18.35 billion), an increase of 17.9 per cent from the same period in 2016.
“The total investment in 2016 was RM1.9 billion (US$0.4 billion) with 53 projects and produced 4,392 jobs.
“Malaysia believes that bilateral trade will continue to grow in the future with many opportunities created by both countries, especially with the extension of the Look East Policy and to enhance the existing relationship to the strategic partnership status,” he added.
He said Malaysia and Japan celebrated the 60th year of diplomatic ties last year and close ties between the two countries would be continued through the exchange of frequent visits from both sides.
Ahmad Zahid said the last working visit from Malaysia to Japan was between Nov 15 to 17, 2016, by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, with the last high-level visit from Japan to Malaysia being the official visit of Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito from April 13 to 17 last year, while Ahmad Zahid himself was on a working visit to Japan from May 29 to June 2 in 2016. – BERNAMA