Indonesia, Japan to cooperate to extinguish forest fires

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia and Japan have agreed to cooperate in the ongoing fire fighting efforts by delivering a special liquid substance to certain areas in Sumatra and Kalimantan where there are still many hotspots.

The Japanese Ambassador to Indonesia, Yasuaki Tanizaki, said here on Friday that the neighboring countries can support Indonesia in handling the forest fires.

The forest and land fires that occurred in several islands, including Sumatra and Kalimantan, have caused haze that has also spread to other neighboring countries such as Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

"I believe that the ASEAN countries must assist each other. This could be a chance for the ASEAN countries to show their solidarity to mitigate the disaster," Tanizaki said.

The Japanese government has given 100 bottles of a fire extinguisher liquid substance, namely "Miracle Foam a+," to the Indonesian government and it will be delivered gradually to Palembang of South Sumatra from Saturday (Oct 17) to Monday (Oct 19).

Several experts from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will also be sent by the Japanese government to assist the forest fire extinguishing efforts.

"We hoped the emergency assistance can be utilized by the Indonesian government. I hope it helps in easing the haze disaster," Tanizaki said.

The ambassador hoped that the ASEAN countries can handle the menace of haze disaster together, thereby underscoring the close friendship among the nations in South East Asia.

Additionally, several countries such as Malaysia, Singapore and Australia, have assisted Indonesia by deploying air planes that can conduct water bombing in several hotspots in Sumatra Island.(*)