JAKARTA: Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Tuesday announced a plan to provide Indonesia with soft loans worth 50 billion yen to support an economy hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
Suga conveyed the plan during talks with Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Bogor near Jakarta.
The two leaders agreed that Japan and Indonesia will start work on reopening their borders for business travel between the two countries.
Suga and Widodo also agreed to resume a meeting of the two countries’ foreign and defense ministers, which last took place in 2015.
The leaders confirmed the two nations’ continued cooperation to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific region in an apparent effort to counter China’s advances in the East China Sea and the South China Sea.
Suga said that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which includes Indonesia, is key to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific region. Widodo said he hopes to make the South China Sea a safe and stable area.
They also agreed to speed up talks on a pact to allow Japan to export defense equipment to Indonesia. They confirmed that the two countries will deepen their security ties.
Japan sees Indonesia as a strategic partner with which it shares fundamental values. Tokyo hopes to deepen its partnership with Jakarta in the fight against the novel coronavirus.