Special envoy says Japan aims to expand cooperation with Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR (April 21): Japan aims to build closer ties with Malaysia in line with the new chapter of the Look East Policy (LEP) in light of the current economic and social situation.

Katsuhiko Takahashi, Japanese Ambassador to Malaysia, said that while LEP has made a great contribution to the formation of Malaysia’s automobile industry, there is now a need to expand into emerging industries such as medical care and disaster prevention for an aging society in which Japan has sufficient expertise. He said there is. .

“LEP started 42 years ago by sending students and trainees to Japan and bringing back their know-how and expertise to help Malaysia’s economic development.

“This relationship is built on people-to-people exchanges and is a strong foundation for Japan-Malaysia relations.

“We are now looking at new economic areas where Japan should further cooperate, such as cybersecurity, information technology, supply chain resilience, and energy transition,” he said in an interview. bernama.

He elaborated that Japan is keen to strengthen cooperation in artificial intelligence, robotics and green technologies, as well as technologies to combat climate change.

According to Takahashi, there is also a need to advance policies in line with trends in the Malaysian economy, which has been experiencing rapid growth recently.

“We can now work together as equal partners in both the public and private sectors,” he said.

He said this is also in line with the elevation of the two countries’ strong bilateral relationship to the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) status announced during Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s visit to Japan in December last year. He emphasized.

He pointed out that the CSP covers a wide range of issues, including peace and security cooperation, economic prosperity, science, technology, innovation and the environment, society, culture and people-to-people exchanges, regional and global cooperation. did.

Mr. Takahashi said that the bilateral relationship between Japan and Malaysia is a large river that flows smoothly and expands, with 67 years of diplomatic and economic ties that can be developed wider and deeper to benefit both countries. Stated.

“Since Malaysia’s independence, we have built good relations, and cooperation through ASEAN and strengthening of relations through the LEP have greatly contributed to strengthening the relationship between Japan and Malaysia,” he said.

Cooperation through ASEAN and regional initiatives

Mr. Takahashi said this is because Japan fully supports ASEAN’s efforts in four areas based on the framework of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP), which was endorsed at the 50th anniversary of Japan-ASEAN Friendship and Cooperation ceremony last year. He said that.

AOIP is ASEAN’s initiative to promote cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, covering cooperation in oceans, connectivity, the United Nations Sustainable Goals 2030, economics and other possible areas of cooperation.

“For Malaysia and Japan, we have in common that we are maritime nations, surrounded by the sea, and thrive on free trade and the rule of law, so we would like to strengthen cooperation in these areas and strengthen regional security. I’m looking forward to it,” says Takahashi.

Malaysia and Japan established economic partnership through the Malaysia-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, Malaysia’s first comprehensive trade agreement, which came into effect on July 13, 2006.

Subsequently, the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement entered into force for Malaysia on February 1, 2009, and includes lower tariffs and market access through rules of origin.

Similarly, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, and the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity Initiative will also strengthen regional economic cooperation between the two countries.

“Japan and Malaysia can also work together to provide development assistance to other countries in need, such as Afghanistan, African countries and Palestine,” he said.

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