Indonesian President Joko Widodo told Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Wednesday that his country had lifted all restrictions on Japanese food imports imposed following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis, the Japanese leader said.
Following a summit meeting in Tokyo with the president, popularly known as Jokowi, Kishida told a joint press conference that they reaffirmed their cooperation towards realizing a free Indo-Pacific. and open, with Japan pledging to help further strengthen maritime security in the region.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (right) and Indonesian President Joko Widodo hold a joint press conference after their meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office in Tokyo on July 27, 2022. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo
“I hope bilateral security cooperation, including defense exchanges, will make further progress,” Kishida said, noting that Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Force is expected to join a multinational joint exercise in Indonesia in August for the first time.
The Prime Minister welcomed the lifting of restrictions on the import of food products from seven prefectures, saying that “this encourages the inhabitants of the disaster areas”.
Widodo, on the second leg of his three-country tour after China, said he had asked Japan to relax or abolish tariffs it imposes on Indonesian tuna, pineapples and bananas.
The president also conveyed his condolences on the death of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was shot and killed earlier this month, saying Kishida’s predecessor had helped move bilateral relations towards a strategic partnership.
While the president will chair the Group of 20 major economies summit in Bali in November this year, the two have also agreed to work closely together.
Indonesia has invited Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to the rally amid Russia’s war in Ukraine.
On his fourth visit to Japan as president, Widodo is also due to meet Emperor Naruhito later in the day before leaving for South Korea.
The visit comes ahead of the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Indonesia next year, while the year also marks the 50th anniversary of friendship between Japan and the Association of South Asian Nations. -East.
In recent years, Japan and Indonesia have strengthened their security cooperation, with the participation of the Japanese ground force in the upcoming joint military exercise Garuda Shield being the latest example.
Indonesia and the United States have also invited other countries, including Australia and Singapore, to participate in their annual drill as China’s growing military assertiveness raises security concerns in the Indo-Pacific region. .
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (far right) and Indonesian President Joko Widodo (2nd left) talk at the Prime Minister’s Office in Tokyo on July 27, 2022. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo