October 23, 2018
JICA President Shinichi Kitaoka visited Indonesia from Oct. 10 to 14. After giving a lecture at the University of Indonesia and visiting sites of the Construction of Jakarta Mass Rapid Transit Project, he participated in the 2018 Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group in Bali.
On Oct. 11, Mr. Kitaoka gave a lecture to commemorate the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Indonesia. The speech took place at the University of Indonesia in Jakarta, and the title was "60 years of trust: Indonesia, Japan and JICA." In front of more than 450 participating students, professors and others, Mr. Kitaoka spoke about the significance of the Meiji Restoration, the history and trust relationship between Indonesia and Japan, describing the distinctive characteristics of JICA projects and their future direction. The occasion was the 150th anniversary of the Meiji Restoration, the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Indonesia and the 20th anniversary of the democratization of Indonesia. He also took part in a lively discussion with young future leaders. Mr. Kitaoka then visited sites of the Construction of Jakarta Mass Rapid Transit Project. He saw rolling stocks that had just arrived from Japan begun trial runs and reconfirmed that stakeholders were working together to prepare for the start of operations.
At the 2018 Annual Meetings of the IMF and World Bank Group that began on Oct. 12 in Bali, the World Bank Group launched the Human Capital Index, which combines indicators of health and education into a measure of the human capital that a child born today can expect to obtain by her 18th birthday in each country. At the request of President Jim Yong Kim of the World Bank Group, Mr. Kitaoka took on the role of "human capital champion." A human capital champion is expected to advocate to the world the importance of investing in human capital. In his meetings with representatives of developing countries, Mr. Kitaoka emphasized the importance of investing in human capital and how JICA can contribute to it.
On Oct. 12, Mr. Kitaoka took the stage and gave a presentation on JICA's initiatives toward achievement of the SDGs at the SDGs-themed event "Localizing the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals: Act Locally on a Global Scale," co-organized by the government of Indonesia, JICA, the United Nations Development Programme and the Asian Development Bank. Taking up the example of Indonesia, Mr. Kitaoka talked about JICA's response to natural disasters, its anti-illegal fishing measures, and its cooperation on the building of a subway as a response to urbanization. He then praised Indonesia, which developed as a moderate democratic country with the world's largest Islamic population and now has begun assisting other countries.
On Oct. 14, he met with Bambang Permadi Soemantri Brodjonegoro, minister of national development planning, who had requested Japanese cooperation after the 2018 Sulawesi earthquake and tsunami for a needs survey and the formulation of a master plan for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the affected regions. Mr. Kitaoka announced that the two countries, both of which experience frequent natural disasters, will act in solidarity and that JICA will provide proactive, rapid assistance that leverages its experiences with disaster risk reduction and disaster recovery.
Mr. Kitaoka, during his stay in Bali, also met with Basuki Hadimuljono, minister of public works and housing; Sri Mulyani, minister of finance; and Mathew Rycroft, permanent secretary, UK Department for International Development. Also, Mr. Kitaoka met with Rémy Rioux, the chief executive officer of the Agence Française de Développement, who serves as chairman of the International Development Finance Club* and attended the IDFC Annual Meeting, where he discussed the future of the club.
*A network of development finance institutions established in an initiative led by Germany's KfW in September 2011. Its members include bilateral development finance agencies of developed countries, a category that provides for JICA, as well as domestic development banks of emerging nations and subregional development finance agencies.