A New Maritime Forum?

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

December 19, 2016

Photos: Cabinet Public Relations Office, Japan Govt

Photos: Cabinet Public Relations Office, Japan Govt

 Japan and Indonesia are planning to establish a new high-level bilateral maritime forum.  The Japan-Indonesia Maritime Forum will discuss maritime cooperation., says a report in The Japan News.

Under the new framework, Tokyo will support Jakarta’s efforts to protect its maritime sovereignty in the South China Sea and other areas. 
By deepening cooperation with Indonesia, which has strong influence over the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and through multilateral participation, Japan hopes to counter China, which has been building military strongholds in the South China Sea.
The forum will comprise meetings of relevant ministers of the two countries and working groups. 
In particular, Japan will likely assist the development of ports and other infrastructure projects — part of Indonesia’s national strategy — as well as the development of remote islands and the enhancement of maritime security capabilities, among others.
Luhut Pandjaitan, Indonesia’s coordinating minister for maritime affairs, will soon visit Japan and meet Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida to sign an agreement on the matter.
Given both countries’ involvement in the ongoing South China Sea and East China Sea disputes – even though Indonesia is technically not a claimant state  - the forum may play a more important role both in the region and internationally.
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