I also welcome the signing of a memorandum of understanding on Indonesia-Japan's cooperation in the health sector on October 19
Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has said Indonesia deeply appreciates Japan’s commitment and contribution to the setting up of the ASEAN COVID-19 Response Fund, a regional fund established to address the ongoing pandemic.

The Indonesian President made the remarks while issuing a joint press statement with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, following their bilateral meeting at the Presidential Palace in Bogor, West Java, on Tuesday.

“I also call on Japan to strengthen regional governance in the health sector to respond to pandemic situation in the future,” he said, adding that the formation of the ASEAN Center for Public Health Emergency and Emerging Diseases is part of the regional partnership in the health sector.

In this context, both Indonesia and Japan share a similar vision of boosting multilateralism, including equal access to COVID-19 vaccine procurement and supply at affordable prices, President Jokowi noted.

Since the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak, Japan has been one of Indonesia’s important partners in pandemic mitigation efforts, and Indonesia highly appreciates the country's support for the evacuation of 69 Indonesian crew working on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Yokohama, the Indonesian President said.

"I also welcome the signing of a memorandum of understanding on Indonesia-Japan's cooperation in the health sector on October 19 (2020),” he added.

Prime Minister Suga's visit to Indonesia in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic is the first visit by a world leader to the country.

After his election by Japan's parliament following Shinzo Abe's surprise resignation on September 16, 2020, Suga's first overseas visit has been to Vietnam and Indonesia.

Before arriving in Indonesia, Prime Minister Suga visited Hanoi, the capital city of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, on October 18, 2020.

According to the Japanese prime minister's official website, he attended a welcoming ceremony on October 19, 2020 (local time), and followed it up with a meeting with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

Afterwards, the leaders held an exchange of documents ceremony and a joint press announcement in relation to grant assistance. During his visit, PM Suga also met with Nguyen Phu Trong, general secretary of the Communist Party of Viet Nam.

He also enjoyed a stroll with Prime Minister Phuc at the late President Ho Chi Minh's Stilt House. In the afternoon, he gave a policy speech at the Vietnam-Japan University and engaged in a frank and candid discussion with students.

Suga offered flowers at the Martyrs' Monument and the President Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum before meeting with several top figures, including Mdm. Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, chairwoman of the National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam.

Later, the Japanese premier held a press conference on the Japan-Vietnam summit and other events.

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Translator: Hanni S, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Gusti Nur Cahya Aryani
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