Kishida, Joko confirm close cooperation on G20

The leaders of Japan and Indonesia have confirmed they will continue to work closely together, as Jakarta prepares to hold the G20 presidency in 2022 and the chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in 2023.

Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and Indonesian President Joko Widodo talked over the phone on Thursday. It was their first such conversation since Kishida took office in October.

Kishida conveyed his intention to advance cooperation toward a "free and open Indo-Pacific," as well as an initiative known as the ASEAN Outlook for the Indo-Pacific.

Kishida expressed Japan's willingness to coordinate with Indonesia in fields, such as infrastructure development, maritime security and the response to COVID-19.

Joko voiced his intention to further strengthen coordination between the two countries.

The leaders also exchanged views on regional affairs. Kishida registered his strong opposition to unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the East and South China seas, where Beijing has been increasingly assertive.