President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said Asean countries should strengthen their partnerships with the organization’s regional partner Japan. His comment came during the 19th Asean-Japan Summit at the National Convention Center in Vientiane, Laos, on Wednesday (07/09).
Presiden Jokowi said that, for over forty years, the friendship between Asean and Japan has been firm and contributing to peace, regional stability and common welfare goals. This friendship, according to Jokowi, has helped Asean develop the region and provide real benefits to its people. He suggested that cooperation with Japan should focus on maritime affairs and human resources.
He added, Asean and Japan are connected by strategic seas of high economic value. Therefore, strengthening of maritime connections will integrate the region more and create better conditions for economic growth. Asean should also cooperate with Japan for the sake of improving the quality of education, including vocational studies, technical training, business management and youth exchange programs.
After the Asean-Japan Summit, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said Jokowi has been impressed by the progress of the second Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths, or Jenesys 2.0, launched in April 2005 by the Japanese government. In 2016, 250 Indonesian students will participate in the program.
Jenesys, a people-to-people exchange program, was designed to build a basis for friendship and to promote mutual trust and understanding among the Japanese and the people of Asia-Pacific countries.