Monday, 3 November 2008

Indonesia-Japan Expo 2008 Tops 50 Years of Friendship

Grow together, redefining a better tomorrow
Published 2008-11-03 14:17 (KST)

On Nov. 1, 2008, at the height of events to celebrate 50 years of Indonesia and Japan relationship during the year 2008, the President of Republic of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, together with the chairman of Indonesia Jepang Association (also former Prime Minister of Japan), Yasuo Fukuda, officially opened the Indonesia-Japan Expo (IJE) 2008 in Jakarta. This event aims to enlarge the exchange of knowledge and deepened the understanding between the two nations.

The treaty of peace between Indonesia and Japan was signed on Jan. 20, 1958. This year, on Jan. 20, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Prince Akishino announced this year as the celebration of friendship between the two nations.

Japan occupied Indonesia in three and a half years from 1942 to 1945. That short moments did crafted a deep wound which then created a hard feeling, and made the relationship between these two nations going up and down. The daily Kompas made its special report about this relationship in an article "Pasang Surut Sebuah Hubungan" (Up and Down of a Relationship) printed in its printed daily. The tragedy of January 15, 1974, known for Indonesians as Malari, was flowering out of the accusation that the Japanese economic expansion in Indonesia was another kind of their new occupation, an occupation through their economic moves. Yet, daily Kompas noted that the intensive social and cultural programs, including youth and students exchange helped building contacts between citizens of these two countries.

Media is also playing an important role in voicing out appreciation and criticism, in helping to build a better relationship between countries. Kompas and Nikkei Inc. as leading media outlets from the two countries had an idea to hold a special event in celebrating the 50 years of Indonesia-Japan friendship.

Agung Adiprasetyo, Kompas Gramedia CEO in his message hoped that the Indonesia Japan Expo 2008 can be a learning forum for people from both countries. Nikkei Inc. chairman, Ryoki Sugita, exposed that the aim of Indonesia Japan Expo 2008 are reviewing the history of friendly relationship between Indonesia and Japan during the past five decades and at the same time developing a vision of how to promote mutual understanding and enhance friendship and cooperation between the two countries in the future, which have become interdependent on each other.

Automotive industries visited by a lot of visitors

Youngsters as the new generation seemed to get a special attention in this event. Harajuku Street Competition, Indie J-band Competition, Miku-miku Dance Competition, Para-para Dance Competition, Cosplay Cabaret Cometition, Manga workshop, Igo competition and exhibition are among other interesting activities for youngsters in this event.

Harajuku street fashion can also be spotted in the Indonesia Japan Expo 2008

In the main theme of grow together redefining a better tomorrow, symposium and seminars are also in the agenda of Indonesia Japan Expo 2008. The symposium organized by Indonesia Japan Friendship Association (Perhimpunan Persahabatan Indonesia Jepang -- PPIJ). A two days seminar organized by the Embassy of Japan in Indonesia, in cooperation with PPIJ, Persada, CSIS, and CIDES, offering the theme of "50 years of Heartfelt Ties and Strategic Partnership for the Future." It is hoped that both party can make good aspects they each possessed growth even more, and take the bad aspects as a lesson to avoid in the future. Badan Koordinasi Penanaman Modal (BKPM -- The Investment Coordinating Board) will also presenting a seminar and a chance of one-on-one investment opportunity meeting. Another seminar on "Green Management and Corporate Competitiveness- Tradeoff or Opportunities?" is organized by LPEM and JBIC in collaboration with Kompas and Nikkei and supported by KADIN, Jakarta Japan Club, and Dharma Persada University.

The concern of global warming is also showing up in most of company activities shown in this Expo. In Japan it is also caused by high demand of consumers of product of high technology and environmental friendly to their concern of global warming. Indonesia as the source of exporting products to Japan is also affected as for example the eco-labeling for the wood and pulp products. The growing awareness in Indonesia can be traced to the building equipments which provide their information on products which are environmental friendly.

High technolgy is still the main reason that attract people to visit the Expo

Jacob Utama, the Kompas Gramedia Group Chairman, said that this event open a chance for people to see the output of hard work in technology. It can impress children, and motivate them for building a better future, and at the same time it also gives businessmen the opportunity to see their chance to participate in the market.

Japan and Indonesia signed their Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) on August 2008. Indonesia as the fourth largest population in the world has abundant of natural resources. EPA is hoped to help transferring the technology and skill from Japan to improve the quality of products from Indonesia. Small and medium enterprises are hoped to grow stronger to face the global financial turmoil.

JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization) with the One Village One Product Programme in Jogjakarta help the small and medium entreprises grow up

Indonesia Japan Expo 2008 is also a feast of art and culture. In the opening ceremony guests are attracted to the collaboration of Saman dance from Aceh with the tune of Taiko drums. There will also be a show of Indonesian Batik used as the fabric for Japanese traditional kimono, while the youngsters will develop their own creativity in rendering manga.

Shiro Saito, Managing Director Nikkei Inc. said, "Synergy that came out from the interaction and collaboration between two countries in this Expo will be an important base to understand each other, heart to heart, and to build a better understanding in the future, and to grow the mutual feeling of loving each other cultures."

As stated by Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the president of the Republic of Indonesia, in his opening speech, the future friendship relation of Indonesia and Japan is not only depending on governments, but also on citizens.

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