Japan and Indonesia could be working together on two infrastructure projects in the country, said Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung.
Speaking to reporters at Halim Perdanakusuma airport on Thursday (May 26) morning, Mr Pramono said Japan had expressed interest in, a port in Patimban, Subang Regency, West Java, and a medium-speed rail project for the Jakarta-Surabaya route.
“There have already been talks between the Transport Ministry and the government of Japan concerning time periods, the shaping of a business entity for the port and so on, but talks for the Jakarta-Surabaya train are still ongoing,” explained Mr Pramono.
He added that Indonesia was hoping to speed up talks for the rail project. “Firstly, the train tracks are all over the ground and they get in the way of cars who have to stop before passing. Secondly, the railway quality is quite good but it uses old methods for its connections, even though technology has advanced now. So that is what will be fixed eventually.”
Besides newer railway tracks, the train itself will also get an upgrade. The journey from Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, to its second largest city, Surabaya, currently takes between eight and 10 hours. Mr Pramono was unable to provide details on how much travel time would be shortened and what the value of the project would be.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Hadi Mustofa Djuraid, a staff expert for Indonesia’s Transport Minister, had said that Japan expressed its interest in providing funds and technical know-how for the project. The construction, however, would be done by Indonesian companies.
Meantime, Mr Pramono said Indonesian President Joko Widodo would likely discuss the projects on his two-day visit to Japan, at the invitation of Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The meeting will be held on the sidelines of the G7 Summit on Friday.
The President will hold bilateral talks not only with Japan, but with France as well, among other countries, said the Cabinet Secretary.
Japan, Indonesia could work on $3bn mega port, rail projects