The immigration department will not burden the foreign journalists registering to cover the Asian Games, and they will not have to pay the visa issuance charges.
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian government, through the Directorate General of Immigration, has called on foreign journalists, including athletes and officials, to obtain visas before they can cover or attend the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia next year.

Journalists intending to cover the events at the Asian Games can obtain visas through the Foreign Visit Team for Journalists that will coordinate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"It will not be adequate for foreign journalists to only have an accreditation from the Indonesia Asian Games Organizing Committee (INASGOC). Those who come to Indonesia in the framework of covering the Asian Games events are required to have visas," Head of the Verification Sub-Directorate of the Immigration Hongky Juanda stated during the Asian Games Media Forum in Jakarta on Monday.

Although Indonesia requires journalists and participants to acquire entry visas, the Directorate General of Immigration will facilitate the process of issuing visas to participants and journalists keen on following the Asian Games.

The immigration department will not burden the foreign journalists registering to cover the Asian Games, and they will not have to pay the visa issuance charges. He remarked that the visa will be issued free of charge based on the Ministry of Law and Human Rights` decision.

"Journalists accredited by the Olympic committees in their respective countries will receive free-visa facilities, but journalists who are not accredited by the National Olympic Committee (NOC) will have to bear the visa cost," he noted.

Every Olympic committee in Asian countries will provide information on the issuance of visas at the Indonesian embassy for participants and journalists of the Asian Games.

The requirement to acquire visas for journalists, athletes, and officials is part of the efforts to increase vigilance and to make the major Asian sporting festival a success. It is not impossible that some parties have certain intentions that go beyond the Asian Games.

"The visa requirement is in accordance with the Indonesian selective immigration policy. In principle, we are ready to make the Asian Games 2018 a success," noted Juanda.

In order to ease the entry of journalists, athletes, and officials of the Asian Games 2018, the Directorate General of Immigration will provide special lanes at four airports of Soekarno-Hatta in Banten, Halim Perdana Kusuma in Jakarta, Husein Sastranegara in Bandung, and Sultan Machmud Badaruddin II in Palembang, South Sumatra Province.

The INASGOC is holding a forum on Nov 27-28 to inform the media about preparations for the implementation of the 18th Asian Games to be held in Jakarta and Palembang, South Sumatra, from August 18 to September 2, 2018.

The forum was attended by journalists from 22 countries.

"We will ensure that representatives of the media will receive adequate services during the implementation of the Asian Games, since media plays an important role in improving the significance of the multi-event games," INASGOC Chairman Erick Thohir had noted earlier.

INASGOC spokesman Danny Buldansyah vowed to provide the best services while organizing the Asian Games.

It is forecast that some three thousand media representatives will cover the events. The INASGOC will provide media centers at the Jakarta Convention Center located within the Bung Karno Sports Complex, which is the arena for the Asian Games in Jakarta.

Journalists covering the Asian Games events in Palembang, South Sumatra Province, will find the media center in the Jakabaring area, which houses the venues for the athletes to compete.

"We will provide special information to the media, which is different from the information we publish on the official sites," Buldansyah said.

He said the media center at the JCC is able to accommodate some 700 journalists. Although the capacity of the media center at the JCC is not in accordance with the number of invited journalists, the work of the media representatives will hopefully not be hindered as not all of them will be working at the JCC.

"Apart from the media center at the JCC, media representatives can cover the sports at the venues both in Jakarta and Palembang," Buldansyah was quoted as saying by online portal.

Indonesia plans to broadcast live 38 out of the 40 sports to be competed at the event.

"We will use a total of 427 high-definition cameras to broadcast all sports events live, except for bridge and squash," Director of Broadcast of the Asian Games 2018 Organizing Committee INASGOC Linda Wahyudi stated.

INASGOC has signed a contract with Swiss International Games and Broadcast Services as a partner in broadcasting the Asian Games 2018 live.

A Japanese broadcasting company Dentsu will be the Asian Games 2018 broadcast rights holder, while the Emtek Group has the broadcast rights of the 2018 Asian Games for Indonesia.

INASGOC expects to spend up to Rp800 billion to broadcast live the 38 sports events as well as the opening and closing ceremonies and targets 20 countries to broadcast live for three weeks.

According to INASGOC Chairman Erick Thohir, six Asian countries have already acquired the broadcasting rights: Qatar, China, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, and India.

Besides Asian and Latin American countries, Indonesia is also eyeing the US to buy rights to broadcast live the events, as there are several Asians living there, Thohir noted.

Four to five billion people are expected to watch the events and activities during the three-week Asiad, Thohir noted.

The 18th Asian Games 2018, to be attended by 45 countries, will feature 462 events of 40 sports of which 32 are Olympic sports and eight are non-Olympic sports.

The Olympic sports are Aquatics, Athletics, Fencing, Weightlifting, Basketball, Handball, Badminton, Baseball/Softball, Cycling, Equestrian, Golf, Wrestling, Hockey, Judo, Karate, Canoeing and Kayaking, Sailing, Shooting, Modern Pentathlon, Archery, Sport climbing, Rowing, Rugby, Gymnastics, Skateboarding, Football, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Tennis, Boxing, Triathlon, and Volleyball.

The non-Olympic sports are Bowling; Bridge; Cricket; Kabaddi; Martial Arts, such as Jujitsu, Kurash, Pencak Silat, Sambo, and Wushu; Mechanical Sports, such as Paragliding and Jet skiing; Squash; and Sepak Takraw.


Reporter: Andi Abdussalam
Editor: Heru Purwanto
Copyright © ANTARA 2017