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January 20, 2008

Indonesia-Japan to focus on culture, education, youth

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono wants the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Indonesia-Japan relations this year to be focused on three things -- culture, education and friendship between the two countries` youths.

"Closer relations between the youths of the two countries are important so they can be expected to inherit and continue the present good relations between Indonesia and Japan," presidential spokesman Dino Pati Djalal quoted the president as saying when receiving visiting Japanese Prince Akishino at the Merdeka Palace here Saturday.

Dino said Prince Akishino at the meeting read out a message from Japanese Emperor Akihito who expressed pleasure about the relations between Indonesia and Japan which had grown significantly in the past 50 years.

"The Emperor also conveyed his best wishes to the Indonesian people," Dino said.

Prince Akishino`s visit to represent the Japanese Emperor and Japanese government is a measure of Tokyo`s appreciation of the progress achieved in the friendship between Indonesia and Japan in the economic and political fields, Dino ssid.

"Indonesia- Japan relations increased continuously following the signing of a strategic agreement in 2005 and the Economic Partnership Agreement last year. Besides an economic partner, Japan is also an important counterpart to Indonesia in the region and in international political forums," he added.

After meeting with the President, Prince Akishino will also pay a call on Vice President Jusuf Kalla and visit an organization active in the fight against Tuberculosis (TBC) in Jakarta,

On Sunday, the prince is slated to meet the chairman of the Regional Representatives Council (DPD) Ginanjar Kartasasmita, attend a function at the Japan Foundation and meet with Japanese nationals living in Indonesia.

Later, Akishino will attend the peak event of the anniversary celebrations at the Beautiful Indonesia-in-Miniature Park (TMII) in East Jakarta together with President Yudhoyono.

On Monday, he will visit the Indonesian Red Cross Hospital (PMI) in Bogor.

Prince Akishino is the second son of Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko.

Courtesy Antara

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