August 21, 2017
A news conference after JICA President Shinichi Kitaoka's meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo. From left are Sri Mulyani, Minister of Finance, Mr. Kitaoka and Pramono Anung Wibowo, secretary of the Cabinet
JICA President Shinichi Kitaoka visited Indonesia and Timor-Leste from July 24 to 30 and discussed development issues and the direction of future cooperation with officials from the two governments.
On July 26, Mr. Kitaoka had a meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo and said JICA will further advance balanced cooperation in not only infrastructure development, but also rural development, social development, maritime safety and other sectors. The two men agreed that they will continue mutual efforts to swiftly implement the following projects: Construction of Jakarta Mass Rapid Transit Project, the Patimban Port Development Project and the Java Northern Line Upgrading Project.
Mr. Kitaoka also discussed important issues with Bambang Brodjonegoro, Minister of National Development Planning Agency (BAPPENAS), Luhut Pandjaitan, Minister of Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Sri Mulyani, Minister of Finance, Susi Pudjiastuti, Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, and Mochamad Basuki Hadimuljono, Minister of Public Works & People's Housing.
Indonesia is an extremely important partner of Japan because of its population, economy, large land mass, world's largest Islamic population and geographical and historical relationship with Japan. This visit by JICA’s president will be an opportunity for JICA to continue to reinforce its relationship of trust with Indonesia.
Timor-Leste’s President Francisco Guterres and JICA President Shinichi Kitaoka
Also on July 26, Mr. Kitaoka gave the keynote address at the ASEAN 50th anniversary seminar. In that address, Mr. Kitaoka congratulated ASEAN on the 50th anniversary of its founding and said he expects ASEAN to maintain its integrity as a free and open region, while developing and growing into a regional community that supports universal values and the international order. JICA will continue its support aimed at the development of ASEAN.
Next, Mr. Kitaoka made his first-ever visit to Timor-Leste as JICA president. 2017 was a memorable year for Timor-Leste. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the independence of Timor-Leste. In addition, Timor-Leste held in March its first presidential election since a UN peacekeeping mission left the country in 2012, and its first parliamentary election on July 22, just before the visit by Mr. Kitaoka.
JICA President Shinichi Kitaoka had a meeting with Francisco Guterres Lú-Olo, president of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, on July 28. Mr. Lú-Olo expressed his appreciation for JICA's cooperation from 1999, before independence, until today, and his expectations for continuing assistance. Mr. Kitaoka said JICA will provide continuous support for efforts for the peaceful and stable development of Timor-Leste. The two men affirmed the importance of improving infrastructure, fostering industrial diversity, training human resources, education and health care for the development of Timor-Leste. Mr. Kitaoka also met with Prime Minister Rui Maria de Araújo and former presidents Taur Matan Ruak and José Ramos-Horta. With them, he discussed the development strategy of Timor-Leste and confirmed the future direction of JICA.
Visit to the Faculty of Engineering, Science and Technology of the National University of Timor-Leste
Mr. Kitaoka also visited the Faculty of Engineering, Science and Technology of the National University of Timor-Leste, which JICA has been supporting for many years. There, Dr. Francisco Miguel Martins, rector of the National University of Timor-Leste, and others explained to him how Japanese assistance is contributing to the development of higher education and the training of human resources for industry in Timor-Leste. He also visited Radio and Television Timor-Leste and the School of Hospitality and Tourism to encourage Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCVs) who have gained the trust of their counterparts and are working in the country.