Fri, 14 Oct 1994

Indonesoa-Japan ties praised

JAKARTA (JP): President Soeharto yesterday cited the close ties between Japan and Indonesia as a model in which a relationship between a highly developed and a developing nation can be mutually beneficial.

In his speech at Merdeka Palace, after accepting the letter of credentials from Japanese ambassador Taizo Watanabe, Soeharto said the existing world situation dictated the need for such cooperation.

"The difficulties of one nation will sooner or later become the problems of another," Soeharto said.

As ambassador to Jakarta, Watanabe inherits a blossoming state of relations from previous ambassador Kimio Fujita where bilateral ties in all sectors have continually improved in the past few years.

Japan is not only Indonesia's number one investor but also its biggest trading partner with two-way trade soaring from US$11.3 billion in 1988 to $17.4 billion last year.

Due to mainly oil exports, Indonesia has a $4.9 billion trade surplus.

Soeharto said that in this fast and ever changing world Indonesia values the importance of its relationship with Japan and strongly supports the increased responsibility Tokyo is assuming in helping to maintain world peace.

Watanabe, 60, is a career diplomat. His previous oversees posting was as ambassador to Egypt. (mds)