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Indonesia does not view Japan as a military threat, despite the mounting role of Self-Defense Forces personnel in international peacekeeping operations, Indonesian Ambassador Abdul Irsan said Tuesday.

He added that his nation aims to cement its long-lasting ties and constructive partnership with Japan by further developing bilateral economic relations.

Irsan made the remarks during a visit to The Japan Times prior to an official visit to Japan by Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri, scheduled for June 22 to 26.

According to the ambassador, the principal aim of Megawati’s visit is to convince Tokyo that Japan’s investment is crucial for Indonesia’s economic development, which depends heavily on foreign investment.

In macroeconomic terms, the Indonesian economy is in much better shape now and the Megawati administration is set to reinvigorate domestic economic activity with Japan’s assistance.

Irsan emphasized that, in political terms, economic development is vital for Indonesia, hit by the Bali bombing and the Aceh separationist insurgency, in its efforts to root out terrorism.

On this matter, Megawati is expected to seek Japanese aid to reinforce the equipment used by local police forces and to modernize antiterrorism legal systems, he added.

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