Jakarta (ANTARA) - Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's state visit to Indonesia has sent a strong and strategic signal to its ASEAN partners that Japan's partnership has positively impacted the regional grouping's economy, a senior lawmaker said on Wednesday.

Therefore, Japan does not wish to see what it has built with its regional partners over decades to be rendered useless, deputy speaker of the House of Representatives (DPR), Rachmat Gobel, said after attending a function with PM Suga and Japanese alumni in Indonesia.

In a press statement that ANTARA received here on Wednesday, he said Japan has shown its sincere keenness to have a warm and friendly relationship with Indonesia over the decades under different presidencies.

Japan has even pledged to remain as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations' (ASEAN’s), particularly Indonesia’s, strongest partner for the sake of maintaining political and economic stability, regionally as well as globally.

"This notion must be read by the government, related agencies, and business communities," he said, adding that Prime Minister Suga’s visit has demonstrated Japan’s continued contribution to Indonesia's development in various sectors over the past 62 years.

"Japan is not merely present as one of Indonesia's biggest foreign investors in both oil and gas as well as non-oil and gas industries (sectors). It is also present to play a big role in improving the quality of human capital," he remarked.

According to the Japan External Trade Organization (Jetro), in the 10 years until 2018, the total Japanese investment in the industrial, infrastructure, and service sectors in Indonesia was recorded at US$31 billion, Gobel informed.

Japanese companies' export contribution to Indonesia's total exports to global markets stood at 24.4 percent. They also absorbed 7.2 million workers, and almost 90 percent of them held training programs for more than 50 thousand workers and professionals.

In the infrastructure sector, Japan's contribution can, for instance, be seen from the construction of 17-gigawatt power plants.

Japan's contribution is also evident in human resource development. According to the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO), the number of Indonesian students in the country has seen a two-fold increase over the past five years.

As of 2018, at least 6,277 Indonesian students were pursuing studies in Japan, though the figure was far behind Viet Nam’s, which sent 72,345 students to Japan the same year, Gobel added.

Prime Minister Suga and First Lady Mariko Suga arrived in Indonesia on Tuesday afternoon. Indonesian President Joko Widodo and First Lady Iriana Joko Widodo warmly received them at the Presidential Palace in Bogor, West Java.

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 Viet Nam and Indonesia.

Before arriving in Indonesia, Prime Minister Suga visited Hanoi, the capital of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, on October 18, 2020. (INE)
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Translator: Royke S, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Suharto
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