Research Center for Regional Resources, the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (P2SDR-LIPI) successfully held the 1st Ambassador Lecture Series, “Japan-Indonesia Strategic Partnership: Kerja Bersama, Maju Bersama!”, on September 7, 2017.
As a Research Center which continuously promotes research on area studies, P2SDR-LIPI focuses its research with special approaches on the global-local connection, multi discipline, and multi-sites. The copes of the areas include a wide range of region, namely, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Africa. This Ambassador Lecture Series, is carried out in order to improve the capability of LIPI researchers to get better understanding of other regions and countries.
In this event, one main speaker were invited, H.E. Masafumi Ishii, Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of Indonesia. Dr. Fadjar Ibnu Thufail, a senior researcher at P2SDR-LIPI, were also invited as moderator. The lecture discussed about Japan strategy for short term, such as how they deal with challenges posed by DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) and for mid to long term, regarding Japan’s will to live happily & prosperously together with the neighboring country but without being told what to do.
Following his statement above, later on he mentioned about Japan-Indonesia relationship which is most likely as big and little brother. Speaking of brotherhood, Indonesia is Japan’s big brother especially in terms of area and population. Indonesia has 1.500 million km2, while Japan has only 380 million km2. However, Indonesia is also bigger in population which consists of 260 million people, while Japan is only have about half of them, around 126 million people. This clearly shows that Indonesia is a big brother for Japan.
On the other hand, in terms of GDP, Japan is much bigger ($5000 billion) compared to Indonesia ($430 billion) which is not even reach 10% of Japan’s. However, Indonesia serves as one of the most important partners for Japan. Japanese Companies have had a presence in Indonesia since the early 1970s. Economic partnership is based on a long-term perspective and leads to a win-win relationship. The economic contribution of Japanese enterprises to Indonesia includes investment, employment, economic value, exports, and infrastructure. Not to forget that Indonesia is always on their top 3 list about countries/areas that targeted by Japanese manufacturing companies over a medium-term period (around 3 years), since 2014 until 2016.
Speaking of investment, over 1.500 entities are settled in Indonesia, and there are 4,7 million of job opportunities offered by Japanese industries. Moreover, in the field of infrastructure, over 8.470 mega watts ongoing power plant projects is handled by Japanese investor. Last but not least, 18,1% of total Indonesian exports are generated by Japanese companies.
Ambassador Ishii ended his lecture with statement about how to strengthen economic partnership between Japan and Indonesia through future investment, employment, capacity building, and contribution to exports by working together to promote common strategic interest, also enhance “heart to heart” friendship for the future.
Furthermore, 2018, is the 60th anniversary of Japan-Indonesia diplomatic relations. Ambassador Ishii believe the relationship between two countries will be a golden opportunity for their upcoming agenda.
The public lecture was attended by scholars in field of social sciences, lecturer in university, especially those who are interested in area studies. They mainly come from LIPI, Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Japan Foundation, Jakarta, Center for Japanese Studies UI, and university around Jakarta. (/Julia Indah)
(The writer is an internship student from the Department of International Relations, University of Al Azhar Indonesia. She works in P2SDR LIPI during August 28 to October 6, 2017)