Strengthen security relations with an eye on China, Japan and Indonesia

Tokyo — Japan and Indonesia promise to strengthen security relations on Tuesday to facilitate the transfer of defense equipment and technology as their nearby neighbor, China, expands its economic and military capabilities. Signed the agreement.

China’s claim of sovereignty over the East China Sea and South China Sea has become a priority in the increasingly bitter US-China relations and raises serious security concerns for Japan.

Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto referred to the transfer agreement, saying, “I think this is (a) the first in history in bilateral relations between Japan and Indonesia.”

“We encourage the Japanese to participate in the modernization of Indonesia’s defense capabilities, and we also encourage joint training between Navy and Army services,” he told reporters.

Prabowo commented on a joint media appearance in Tokyo after the meeting between the Foreign Ministers of Japan and Indonesia and the Defense Minister.

Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said, “We exchanged views on the situation in the East China Sea and the South China Sea, and shared serious concerns about the continuation and strengthening of attempts to force a change in the unilateral situation.”

The meeting warned China about “coercion and aggression” after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited the area and criticized China for trying to bully its neighbors in competing interests.

ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) member states, including Indonesia, remain wary of losing access to the Chinese economy and hesitate to be involved in any conflict between Washington and Beijing.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi has also sharply criticized ongoing violence against civilians in Burma (Myanmar) after a military coup on February 1. “Indonesia strongly condemns this kind of behavior, which is unacceptable,” she said.

Les Tonneaux, who has been working to mediate negotiations with the Burmese army, which has killed more than 500 protesters since the coup, has emerged as the voice of the region.

Japan, which has a wide range of business interests in Burma, has so far refrained from imposing sanctions on military leadership.

However, Mr. Mogi told Congress on Tuesday that Tokyo, the largest provider of financial assistance to Burma, has put official development assistance on hold.

Kiyoshi Takenaka