Japan shows interest in Soekarno-Hatta, Priok, Cilamaya
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Japan is fully committed to strengthening its collaboration with Indonesia in the transportation sector by involving itself in the country’s major projects, a top Japanese official has said.
Japan’s Deputy Minister for Transportation, Tourism and International Affairs Takashi Kitamura said Japan was keen to team up with Indonesian officials to expand Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang and the container terminal in Tanjung Priok, North Jakarta. He also expressed interest in constructing Cilamaya Port and a new airport, both in Karawang, West Java, among other plans.
He said their involvement in the projects aimed to help improve Indonesia’s transportation sector.
“We see Indonesia has huge economic and it must be supported with a good system and infrastructure in transportation,” Kitamura said on the sidelines of the third Deputy Ministerial Level Meeting between Indonesia and Japan on Thursday.
“We have a lot of knowledge and experience in this area. With some modification [to our system] and continuing hard work, we believe Indonesia’s transportation sector will be much better in the next 10 years, like Japan,” he said.
Indonesia has seen a growth in its transportation sector but infrastructure has yet to catch up with increasing levels of traffic. Soekarno-Hatta, for instance, recorded 51.1 million passengers in 2011, more than 132 percent of its maximum capacity of 22 million passengers.
State-owned airport operator Angkasa Pura II is set to expand the airport to handle 62 million passengers in 2014.
To improve the transportation sector, Kitamura said, Indonesia needed not only hard work but also patience.
He added that Japan needed decades to develop its own transportation system, which today includes Narita Airport and the world’s most popular bullet train, Shinkansen.
In addition, he advised Indonesia to improve its human resources to fully complement project operations.
“Human resource aspects play an important role in developing the sector. We will strengthen our cooperation with Indonesia by sharing more knowledge and conduct joint research in the future,” he added.
Besides the annual Deputy Ministerial Level Meeting, which has been conducted for the past three years, he wanted both parties to conduct more meetings at director or managerial levels to help accelerate Indonesia’s development.
Based on recent data from the Transportation Ministry, Japan’s ongoing projects in the sector from 2004 to 2012 amounted to ¥22.3 billion (US$283.7 million), ¥19.72 billion of which were loans and 2.55 billion grants.
Most of the loans were allocated to the sea transportation sector.
Deputy Transportation Minister Bambang Susantono said Indonesia was delighted to work with Japan because both countries had engaged in good collaboration activities for years.
“Similarities between Japan and Indonesia are beneficial to collaborations between us. As archipelagic countries that are prone to natural disasters, we both face the same problems in transportation,” Bambang said.
“Japan’s sophisticated technology and experience will help Indonesia to develop a better [transportation] system,” he added.
According to Kitamura, Japan has only conducted such meetings with Indonesia, China and South Korea because the three countries are the future of the global economy.
The fourth Deputy Ministerial Level Meeting between Indonesia and Japan will be held in Japan.