To commemorate 65 years of Friendship and Cooperation between Indonesia and Japan, Faculty of Humanities Universitas Indonesia in cooperation with The Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a Roundtable Discussion “Indonesia-Japan Bilateral Relations: Celebrating 65 Years of Friendship and Cooperation, Moving Forward Together”. This event was held on May 8, in Auditorium Building I Faculty of Humanities Universitas Indonesia, with some of the speakers and participants joining online through Zoom.
In recent times, the relationship between Indonesia and Japan has grown even stronger, cementing Japan’s position as one of Indonesia’s most significant strategic and economic partners. Both nations share common values and objectives, and the relationship has been marked by a rich history of cultural exchange and trade. This event emphasized the crucial importance of cooperation between two countries. Citing a famous Japanese proverb, this point also reinstated by Dr. Untung Yuwono The Vice Dean of Academic, Research and Student Affairs of the Faculty of Humanities Universitas Indonesia in his opening remarks, “hitori de okonau yori futari de okonau hoo ga yoi (一人で行うより二人で行う方が良い) meaning ‘Two heads are better than one; doing it together is better than doing it alone’”.
Dr. Yayan Ganda Hayat M., the Head of Foreign Policy Strategy Agency, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Indonesia, in his opening remarks congratulated the relationship between Indonesia and Japan that has been lasted for six and a half decades. Indonesia highly values the economic cooperation between the two countries and Japan is the main partner in trade and investment of Indonesia. Thus, in the future, the collaboration between the mentioned countries could be uplifted.
In this occasion, H.E. Kanasugi Kenji, the Ambassador of Japan to Indonesia delivered an overview of Indonesian-Japan Strategic Partnership. The Ambassador emphasized how the relationship between the two countries are considered strategic in several areas, such as shared fundamental values, strategic objectives and strategic environment.
Two discussion panels in this seminar were focusing on political and security issues and economy issue.
In session one, Shofwan Al Banna C., Ph.D. associate professor of the Faculty of Social and Political Science Universitas Indonesia and Nobuhiro Aizawa associate professor from Kyushu University discussed about political and security issues of Indonesia and Japan. In session 2, Santo Darmosumarto the Director for East Asian Affairs of Ministry of Foreign Affairs Indonesia and Raditya Jati, S.Si., M.Si., the Deputy for System and Strategy, National Disaster Authority of Indonesia delivered materials on the economic outlook on Indonesia-Japan and its prospects and important points towards national sustainable resilience 2045. Both sessions were moderated by Pandu Utama Manggala, a diplomat from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Indonesia.
Following the two panels, H.E. Heri Akhmadi the Ambassador of Indonesia to Japan delivered an overview strategic partnership of Japan and Indonesia from Indonesia perspective. He mentioned the importance of rebuilding our economics and deepening interactions between the two countries. Indonesia and Japan will be key regional players to ensure the areas are peaceful and prosperous to generations to come. H.E. Akhmadi also explained how this year is a very important year for both countries, and this is the right momentum to increase engagement, as reflected through the 65th anniversary logo that means “Satu Hati” or “hitotsu no kokoro”.
For Faculty of Humanities Universitas Indonesia, in particular, the relationship between Japan and Indonesia is very close. The faculty has an undergraduate program of Japanese Studies. In addition, the Indonesian language program for foreign speakers (BIPA) has taught a number of Japanese participants over the years. Furthermore, there are Japanese universities that had previously engaged in student and lecturer exchanges with the faculty, such as Kagoshima University, Gakushuin University, Hiroshima University, Tohoku University, Keio University, and Kyushu International University, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Asia University, Chiba University, and Nanzan University.
Dr. Yuwono added that in recent years, based on the data from the Faculty of Humanities, despite the pandemic, the number of foreign students studying Indonesian language and culture at the Faculty of Humanities has increased, including students from Japan who represent the second-largest group of participants. This trend presents an opportunity for Indonesia, especially UI, and Japan to reinvigorate educational and cultural exchange programs and strengthen relations in these sectors.