Diana Mariska, Jakarta – Japan has expressed interest in new investments covering a wide range of sectors from fisheries and tourism to hydropower and waste-to-energy facilities, a minister said on Friday.
Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi was in Indonesia to hold a series of high-level meetings with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, his counterpart Retno Marsudi and Maritime Affairs and Investment Coordinating Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan.
In the energy sector, Japan will help Indonesia develop hydropower technology in North Kalimantan, Luhut said.
In addition, Japan also intends to further assist Indonesia in building its own waste-to-energy facilities, continuing the bilateral project which started in 2018. Both countries have jointly built an experimental facility to convert solid waste into energy source at the Bantar Gebang landfill in Bekasi, West Java.
Japan's new investment in the fishery and tourism sectors will go to the Natuna Islands in Indonesia's northern maritime borders, Luhut said.
Indonesia and Japan considered cooperation in fish processing industry inside Indonesia's 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) under an investment agreement, Luhut said.
In their meeting, Luhut and Motegi also discussed potential investments in diving facilities and coastal resorts in Natuna. Luhut said Japan is not the only country interested in Natuna's tourism potentials.
Prior to his meeting with Motegi, Luhut also received Adam Boehler, chief executive of U.S. International Development Finance Corporation. Luhut said Boehler discussed potential investments in the area as well during their meeting.
"So it won't be exclusive for Japan because the U.S. is also interested and wants to join," Luhut said, adding that government welcomes any other country to invest here.
Luhut informed the Japanese delegation that Indonesia has appointed the Maritime Security Agency (Bakamla) as official coast guard effective from March.
"Hopefully after March, Bakamla can fully function as coast guard. We inform this to them [Japanese representatives] in case they intend to establish cooperation between coast guards," Luhut said.
Bakamla will be given the full authority as coast guard after previously the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Mahfud M.D. revealed that there were seven institutions with overlapping roles in protecting Indonesian seas.