Jakarta (ANTARA) - Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas called for boosting synergy for halal product assurance between Indonesia and Japan, as it will benefit both nations.

"Cooperation between Indonesia and Japan, especially on progressing the halal product assurance aspect, should be accelerated to ensure it will advantage and benefit our countries," Qoumas noted, as per the statement here on Wednesday.

The minister's remarks were conveyed at the meeting with representatives of the Indonesian Embassy in Tokyo on Tuesday (July 11).

The synergy between both nations should be bolstered, as it can provide new opportunities to increase the export of Indonesian-made halal products to Japan, the minister remarked.

The demand for halal products in Japan is dominated by food and beverage products, he noted, adding that in 2020, the total export value of Indonesian halal products to Japan had reached Rp20 billion (US$1.32 million).

Qoumas emphasized that the acceleration of synergy for halal product assurance is also consistent with Indonesia's aspirations to become a global halal product producer by 2024.

Meanwhile, the ministry's Halal Product Assurance Agency (BPJPH) head, Muhammad Aqil Irham, revealed that four Japanese halal certification agencies have applied for cooperation with Indonesia in halal product assurance.

The four Japanese agencies are Japan Islamic Trust (JIT), Japan Muslim Association (JMA), Muslim Profesional Japan Association, and Japan Halal Association (NPO).

"Of the four foreign halal assessors, two of them -- Japan Islamic Trust (JIT), Japan Muslim Association (JMA) -- are ready to be assessed to receive our certification," Irham noted.

The halal assessor's accreditation aims to ensure mutual acceptance and recognition of halal certificates that will facilitate the trade and export of halal products between Indonesia and Japan.

"The accreditation is to realize mutual recognition and acceptance of halal certificates through the Mutual Recognition Agreement or MRA. With the MRA, Japan's halal certificate will be recognized in Indonesia, and vice versa," the agency head remarked.

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Translator: Asep Firmansyah, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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