Japanese national daily newspaper, The Mainichi, is reporting from the G20 in Nusa Dua, Bali that Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has pledged to provide 130-billion Yen (approx. USD 927.4-million) in loans to Indonesia for its mass rapid transit system project and toll way infrastructure.
During their in-person summit, Kishida agreed with Indonesian President Joko Widodo that the two nations will sign the deal in the near future, the Japanese government said.
Kishida’s announcement came as Japan has been trying to thwart China’s apparent efforts to bolster its economic and military clout in the Asia-Pacific region, where tensions between Beijing and democratic countries have been intensifying.
Japanese and Indonesian leaders also confirmed that the two nations will work together to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific, a vision promoted by Tokyo to counter to China’s growing regional assertiveness, report The Mainichi.
On Sunday, Kishida criticized China by name for stepping up actions that infringe on Japan’s sovereignty in the East China Sea, at an annual summit in Cambodia of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its partners.
Kishida is visiting Bali to attend the two-day Group of 20 summit through Wednesday. Indonesia is the host of this year’s G20 meetings.
According to the government, Kishida and Widodo agreed to work together toward the success of the Group of Seven summit in Hiroshima in May next year. The prime minister is a lawmaker representing a constituency in the western Japan city that was destroyed by a U.S. atomic bomb dropped in 1945.
Alongside G-7 members; Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United States plus the European Union, the G20 also includes Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, and Turkey.
Later Monday, Kishida exchanged views with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on security threats from China and North Korea, which has launched a spate of ballistic missiles since the beginning of this year in violation of U.N. resolutions.
As for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Kishida and the head of the executive branch of the European Union agreed that the international community should join hands to prevent President Vladimir Putin from using nuclear weapons against its neighbour.
On Monday, meanwhile, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said Kishida is set to hold a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping later this week, in what would be the first summit between the two countries in roughly three years, say The Mainichi.
Matsuno, the government’s top spokesman, told reporters in Tokyo that during their summit on Thursday in Thailand that Japan will “assert what needs to be asserted” to China, but stressed both nations need to work to build a “constructive and stable” relationship.
Source: The Mainichi