Japan to provide aid to Indonesia

Kyodo

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi told Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri on Saturday that Japan will provide a total of $26 million to Indonesia to support Megawati’s economic reform efforts, Japanese officials said.

At their meeting held on the sidelines of the annual summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, Koizumi also invited Megawati to visit Japan next year, the officials said.

The two countries will set the date for her trip to Japan in future talks.

While offering the economic assistance, which includes $20 million in grant aid, Koizumi said Japan will continue to support Indonesia’s reform efforts, according to the officials.

Koizumi also vowed to promote his own economic reform in Japan, they said.

A Japanese official said Japan hopes the aid will help Indonesia recover from the Oct. 12 bombings on the resort island of Bali.

The attacks killed almost 200 people from various countries, including a couple from Japan, and dealt a heavy blow to Indonesia’s tourism industry.

Koizumi offered Megawati condolences to the victims of the bombing attacks and stressed the need for international cooperation in the fight against terrorism, the Japanese officials said.

Megawati said Indonesia has been strict with antiterrorism measures, but that it will take time to root out terrorism, according to the officials.

She told Koizumi that Indonesia wants to cooperate with Japan in various areas, including the prevention of smuggling, they said.