Indonesia, Japan commit to “cooperation” against COVID-19

Indonesia and Japan have committed to closer cooperation to address the spread of COVID-19 while calling for strong collaboration within the international community to fight the pandemic.

The commitment was made on Monday during a phone call between Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno L.P. Marsudi and Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi.

Retno reportedly used the occasion to also convey Indonesia’s appreciation for Japan’s recent help in evacuating the Indonesian crewmen of the virus-hit Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Yokohama, Japan.

“Indonesia and Japan are committed to intensify bilateral, regional as well as international cooperation through the G-20 mechanism in fighting COVID-19,” Retno tweeted on Monday.

Meanwhile, Motegi said on Monday in a statement issued through the Japanese Embassy in Jakarta that it was high time that the international community came together to curb the further spread of the lethal virus around the world.

He said that Japan had decided to contribute 1.5 billion yen (US$13.6 million) in emergency aid for distributing to affected countries through the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF.

The phone call between the foreign ministers took place  in lieu of a bilateral meeting that had been scheduled prior to the outbreak.

This year’s Indonesia-Japan meeting of foreign and defense ministers would have been be the second “2+2” meeting since 2015, when Retno and then-defense minister Ryamizard Ryacudu met with their Japanese counterparts, then-foreign minister Fumio Kishida and then-defense minister Gen Nakatani, for the inaugural meeting in Tokyo.

On Tuesday morning, Indonesia had reported 579 confirmed cases of COVID-19, while Japan had reported 1,128 confirmed cases.

Source: The Jakarta Post