19 May 2020
Japan-Indonesia Defense Minister’s Telephone Conversation
On May 19, 2020, Minister KONO had a telephone conversation with Minister of Defence of the Republic of Indonesia, Prabowo Subianto.
- The two ministers exchanged views on issues such as the roles to be played by the defense authorities given the global spread of COVID-19. Minister Kono explained about the Japan Self-Defense Forces’ (JSDF) activities on the cruise ship Diamond Princess and analysis by the SDF Central Hospital by using a presentation document (see attached). Minister Kono also explained the ongoing JSDF’s activities such as: measures at the airport; measures to prevent infection within the city; and infection-preventative measures undertaken in their operation which resulted in having no deployed member infected so far with the virus.
- Furthermore, the two ministers also exchanged views on the current regional security issues including the South China Sea and the East China Sea in light of the current events occurring in the region. Minister Prabowo expressed Indonesia’s position, that the issue of territorial claims should be resolved peacefully without the use of force in the interest of maintaining stability according with the international order. Minister Kono also expressed that Japan strongly opposes attempts to unilaterally change the status quo by force and any activities that add to the tension.
- Further, two ministers exchanged views on defense cooperation and exchanges between Japan and Indonesia. Minister Kono, taking into consideration the implications of COVID-19, expressed the importance of both countries’ maintaining seamless defense posture and of continued and strengthened bilateral defense cooperation to continue pursuing synergies between the “ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific” issued by ASEAN in June last year and Japan’s concept of the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific”.
- The two ministers agreed on the following three points bearing in mind the circumstances arisen by the spread of COVID-19;
- sharing information, knowledge and lessons learned about the measures taken by the defense authorities towards overcoming COVID-19 at the earliest stage;
- necessity of sharing threat recognition based on the current circumstances and potential effects of the spread of COVID-19 on defense policy of each country; and
- promoting vigorously defense cooperation and exchanges, including the “2+2” meeting at the earliest possible timing, to uphold and reinforce the Free and Open Indo-Pacific while maintaining communication between the defense authorities.