Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) praised and expressed elation over an agreement to upgrade Indonesia and Japan's partnership to a comprehensive strategic partnership during a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Thursday.

Their meeting took place during the 43rd ASEAN Summit held at the Jakarta Convention Center (JCC) here.

Indonesia held the summit from September 5 to 7, 2023, as part of its ASEAN chairmanship, during which it has been playing an active role in promoting and enhancing the interests of ASEAN, especially in navigating global challenges, and representing the bloc to strengthen relations with partners.

"Your Excellency PM Kishida, it is good to meet again. I am pleased that Indonesia and Japan have agreed to upgrade our partnership status to become a comprehensive strategic partnership," Widodo said.

The President emphasized that Indonesia and Japan must provide priority direction for cooperation between the two countries in order to create tangible benefits for communities and contribute to stability and peace in the region.

Meanwhile, PM Kishida said that he was happy to meet President Widodo again, after their last meeting in Hiroshima in May on the sidelines of the G7 Summit.

He also thanked Widodo for the warm welcome extended to Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako at Bogor Presidential Palace during their visit to Indonesia in June.

"I would like to express my respect to His Excellency Mr. President (Joko Widodo) who has an important role as the chair of ASEAN, and I hope that we can coordinate further to maintain and strengthen the international order that is free and open based on the rule of law," Kishida said.

In this context, PM Kishida said, the strategic partnership between the two countries must be bolstered again.

"I am very pleased that we can announce a joint statement on the comprehensive strategic partnership establishment between the two countries," he added.

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Translator: Rangga J, Kenzu
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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