PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia The rejuvenation of the ‘Look East’ Policy and consideration of soft credit assistance were discussed at the Malaysia-Japan ministerial level here today.

Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah and his Japanese counterpart Taro Kono, in their meeting at Wisma Putra here, followed up on the proposals and decisions made during the meeting between Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on June 12 in Tokyo.

Wisma Putra (Malaysian Foreign Minister) said Kono and Saifuddin discussed matters related to the rejuvenation and further enhancement of the Look East Policy which would benefit both countries, especially in the areas of education and human resource development.

They also discussed matters related to optimising the utilisation of railway lines where Japan and Malaysia have agreed to look into ways to increase the efficiency of Malaysia’s existing railway lines; consideration of soft credit assistance as well as maritime cooperation, where Japan has assisted through the contribution of two patrol vessels and assistance in human capacity development, it said.

“Both ministers were pleased with the current state of bilateral relations and agreed to continue strengthening and fostering greater cooperation in many areas, Wisma Putra said in a statement in conjunction with the courtesy call.

Kono, who is on a two-day working visit to Malaysia beginning yesterday, was the first foreign minister to call on Saifuddin since his appointment as the foreign minister last week.

“The courtesy call provided not only an avenue for both ministers to meet for the first time but also an opportunity for both sides to share and exchange views on issues of mutual interest, Wisma Putra said.

Malaysia and Japan had agreed to elevate the relationship from an enhanced partnership to a strategic partnership in 2015.

Wisma Putra said both ministers also discussed matters related to the regional developments.

On the situation in the Korean Peninsula, they welcomed the development of efforts for the denuclearisation, and concurred that both sides should remain committed to implementing all sanctions as stipulated under the United Nations Security Council resolutions.

On the developments in the South China Sea, Saifuddin and Kono agreed on the importance of the sea lines of communication and maintaining peace in the South China Sea.

Wisma Putra said both ministers also agreed for ASEAN to play a leading and active role in managing the situation and conflicts in the South China Sea.

“They also exchanged ideas on how to promote regional peace and security in the region, it said.

On the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Wisma Putra said Japan had mentioned that its chief negotiator for the CPTPP would be coming to Malaysia to explain the current arrangement of the agreement to the Malaysian government.

Wisma Putra said Saifuddin had expressed his deepest condolences to Kono over the flash floods and landslides due to heavy rains in western Japan. The incident, affecting areas in Hiroshima, Osaka, Shiga, Hyogo, Okayama, Kyoto and Fukuoka, had caused the deaths of more than 100 people while many are still missing.

Wisma Putra said Kono looked forward to working with Saifuddin in both bilateral and multilateral platforms, including the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting in Singapore next month and the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September.

Source: NAM News Network

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