Joint Press Conference
Note: The opening statement and answers by President Yudhoyono as well as the questions from the Indonesian journalist have been translated into English from the Japanese transcript. As such, they may vary slightly from the phrasing used in the original Indonesian.
Dr Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of Indonesia
It is an honour for Indonesia that Prime Minister Hatoyama graciously served alongside me as co-Chair of the Bali Democracy Forum (BDF). The bilateral talks I held with the Prime Minister this morning were extremely productive. We discussed a number of important issues during those talks. We agreed in several areas concerning the enhancement of our friendly relations and the strengthening of our economic relations, including our economic partnership agreement (EPA). In our talks, Prime Minister Hatoyama referred to grant aid assistance for bridges on the island of Nias and in the province of Nusa Tenggara Barat, whose combined scale reaches 220 billion rupiahs. He also referred to the extension of four trillion rupiahs in ODA loans aimed at assisting Indonesia to develop its framework for addressing climate change and providing emergency budget support. These are all being undertaken in view of the excellent bilateral relations that we enjoy. In addition, concerning investment, we agreed to cooperate on enhancing investment opportunities in Indonesia and on the promotion of investment in various economic sectors. We hope that advancing cooperation in the energy sector as well as others would result in mutual benefits. We also agreed to cooperate on climate change as COP15 is about to begin. Indonesia has set a carbon dioxide reduction target of 26% by the year 2020. At the end of our bilateral meeting, we discussed cooperation on disaster prevention and agreed to co-host in Manado the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) field exercises for disaster relief and cooperate in this regard. These are the points which we discussed at our bilateral talks held earlier. Prime Minister Hatoyama is committed to the further enhancement of our cooperative bilateral relationship. Now I should like Prime Minister Hatoyama to say a few words.
I am sincerely honoured to have had the opportunity to serve as co-Chair of the Bali Democracy Forum and to visit Bali, Indonesia at the gracious invitation of President Yudhoyono. I am truly sorry that I have to depart before the conclusion of the Forum. Discussions are being held on the theme of democracy and development. Views were expressed that diverse forms of democracy are to be found in various countries, and that consequently democracy is something that must be developed as we go forward. As each country has a unique historical background, we must respect each other in those historical contexts. Thus we affirmed that the BDF is indeed a forum of great significance. As for the elements which are important in inducing synergies between democracy and development, I consider the rule of law to be critical, as well as government accountability, public participation, and freedom of the press, among others. Let me reiterate my thanks to President Yudhoyono for his invitation, as I have been delighted to participate in this Forum. Our two countries have long enjoyed good relations, and I consider us to be extremely fortunate in having had the opportunity to hold summit talks at the rate of more than once a month for the past three months.
Among the topics we discussed today, I would like to highlight COP15 in Copenhagen, mentioned by President Yudhoyono in his remarks before mine, as an area we can cooperate on a bilateral basis. Towards that end, Japan made a proposal, and Indonesia also presented a remarkable proposal, concerning cooperation that would persuade other major emitters to cooperate so that the Conference reaches a successful conclusion. We spent a considerable amount of time discussing this. In addition, in the bilateral context Japan proposed the Hatoyama Initiative, as assistance to developing nations is an obligation for developed countries. President Yudhoyono for his part stated that developing countries must also shoulder responsibility. Japan has made proposals so that COP15 reaches a successful conclusion through cooperation between developed and developing countries. We also discussed Indonesiafs business environment, which in its present situation is very conducive to establishment of a local presence by Japanese companies. We hope to make this even more so by implementing our EPA and thus further enhancing the investment climate in Indonesia. With regard to the Asahan Aluminium smelter project, I stated my wish to see the coordination and cooperation between Japan and Indonesia continue beyond 2013. In response, [President Yudhoyono] proposed that the two governments maintain coordination in addition to that on the private-sector level. These examples show how Japan and Indonesia, as two countries which already share the same values, are working together to broaden the scope of their common values. I am gratified that the President and I held talks today which takes us a major step forward along that path as well as furthers our cooperation in addressing various global issues. I should like to close by stating once more my appreciation to President Yudhoyono for inviting me here. Terima kasih.
QUESTION: I have questions for both President Yudhoyono and Prime Minister Hatoyama. First of all, President Yudhoyono, were any commitments made during your summit talks with Prime Minister Hatoyama regarding Japanese investment in Indonesia? Insofar as 2,000 trillion rupiahs of investment is needed in Indonesia annually, how do you regard the investment climate in Indonesia? [Prime Minister Hatoyama,] the Japan-Indonesia EPA was agreed in 2008 (sic). How has the Japanese business sector responded to this EPA?
PRESIDENT SUSILO BAMBANG YUDHOYONO: Prime Minister Hatoyama and I spoke one-on-one at this morningfs talks. We spoke about further increasing Japanese investment in Indonesia in the future. 2,000 trillion rupiahs is the amount of investment necessary in order for Indonesia is to achieve seven per cent growth. As Indonesia continues its economic development, we would like to have Japanese investment contribute to the process. Of this 200 billion US dollars, half of it can be funded from domestic sources, but as for the remaining half, it is necessary to invite investment from other business partners. Indonesia will improve its corporate investment climate. We will implement reforms which assist the activities of companies wanting to invest here, such as improvements to licencing processes. I will not mention the concrete levels of the investment which we hope to attract; suffice it to say that there are investment opportunities in various fields, for example renewable energies in the energy field, transport infrastructure, and food security. Indonesia will continue to pursue development and growth.
PRIME MINISTER YUKIO HATOYAMA: The entry into force of the EPA has facilitated our economic relations still further, and it has likewise enhanced the environment that enables [Japanese] investment in Indonesia. Indonesia has been welcoming to Japan and it has a labour environment which makes it easy for [Japanese] companies to establish operations in the country. I hope that by the time Japan has overcome the current, difficult economic situation and its companies begin to expand their operations overseas, Indonesia will have an investment climate that makes our companies think first about Indonesia as the location of their operations. As President Yudhoyono also mentioned, concrete numbers were not discussed, but I believe that the business environment is being steadily enhanced from the perspective of Japanese companies. And I consider the EPA as playing a significant role. With regard to climate change, President Yudhoyono has set forth a 26% reduction target, a very ambitious yet definitely attainable target, setting the example that developing countries should also contribute to the reduction of greenhouse-effect gas emissions. The Japanese government commends this. As I stated earlier, we must not in any circumstances allow COP15 to fail. In order to lead the Conference to a success, we each pledged to cooperate and exercise leadership in Copenhagen in order to realise the proposals we have put forth.
QUESTION: Prime Minister Hatoyama, please explain in concrete terms how the utilisation of assistance to promote democratisation that you mentioned in your remarks ties in to realising your initiative for an East Asian community. In particular, when specifically would the project mutually to observe elections within the region be actually implemented? Also, I would like to ask President Yudhoyono about his views on the East Asian community concept that Prime Minister Hatoyama is advocating.
PRIME MINISTER YUKIO HATOYAMA: I stated my firm belief that progress in democratisation will serve to place my vision of an East Asian community on increasingly solid ground. During todayfs session of the BDF, as well as elsewhere, [it was reaffirmed that] each country has a distinctive form of democracy, and while in some countries in Asia it is difficult to say that democracy is fully flourishing or good progress towards it is being made, even such countries can learn about the experiences of countries which have reached a more advanced stage of democracy by making good use of the discussions at the BDF. I believe that we move closer to bringing about an East Asian community by cooperating on trade and economic matters as well as by fostering cooperation across a full range of areas, including disaster prevention, medical care, the environment, and finance. Democratisation will help to achieve progress towards an East Asian community.
I proposed that it should be possible to advance democratic procedures [in Asian countries] by mutually observing and watching elections in various countries. With regard to this point, I have heard that Myanmar plans to hold elections next year in accordance with democratic procedures. I believe that leading these elections in Myanmar next year to a success shall have an extremely large effect on Myanmarfs future. I am convinced of the importance, as a first step, of the other countries concerned maintaining interest in these elections and creating a channel of cooperation with Myanmar, as these elections will have a significant effect on democratisation processes throughout Asia.
PRESIDENT SUSILO BAMBANG YUDHOYONO: As for my position on an East Asian community, before I state my position it is necessary for you to appreciate that there are various existing frameworks for regional cooperation. Besides ASEAN, there are also ASEAN +3 and +4. We also have the East Asia Summit, as well as APEC as an even broader framework. There are still other such kinds of regional architecture. Thus, I would like to discuss the direction of cooperation still further. What sort of relations would be created with the existing frameworks? We must continue development in both economic and non-economic realms so that all countries will enjoy benefits in a positive manner, regardless of onefs frame of reference.