Suga, Joko Reaffirm Bilateral Ties

Suga, Joko reaffirm bilateral ties

Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide and Indonesian President Joko Widodo have reaffirmed their countries' ties at a summit outside Jakarta.

Suga met Joko at the presidential palace in Bogor shortly after arriving in Indonesia on Tuesday.

Joko said he wants to make the countries' strategic partnership more mutually beneficial. He said Suga's visit is a symbol of that strong commitment.

Suga said both Japan and Indonesia are maritime nations in the Indo-Pacific region and that he wants to further strengthen their traditional friendship.

Suga has described Indonesia, a key member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, as a strategic partner with which Japan shares basic values.

At the summit, he was expected to seek Indonesia's commitment to working with Japan on various regional issues, such as China's growing maritime presence.

The two leaders are believed to have agreed on an early meeting of their foreign and defense ministers, as well as speeding up talks for transferring defense equipment.

Suga was also expected to announce yen loans to Indonesia, whose economy has been greatly affected by the coronavirus pandemic, and Japan's plan to ease entry restrictions on nurses and caregivers from Indonesia.