JAKARTA: Indonesia and Japan have agreed to begin early discussions to build a high-speed railway between Jakarta and Surabaya.
The project was among issues discussed during Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Sunday (Jan 15).
Mr Abe is on a two-day state visit to Indonesia. He received a grand and warm reception at a welcoming ceremony at the Bogor presidential palace in West Java.
This is the fourth time in two years that Mr Abe and Mr Widodo have met.
Mr Abe's visit underscored the strong relations between the two countries.
During their meeting, both leaders discussed ways to further enhance economic cooperation.
Mr Widodo said: “We also agreed to enhance our economic cooperation in the development of the Patimban port, secondly, the development of Masela block, thirdly, the early discussion on the Jakarta-Surabaya railway project, and discussion on cooperation to develop an integrated maritime and fishery in the islands of Indonesia."
Trade between the two countries reached nearly US$24 billion between January and October last year.
Japan is the second-largest investor in Indonesia, investing about US$4.5 billion between January and September last year. This is double what it invested in 2015.
Besides trade and investment, Japan and Indonesia also agreed to increase maritime cooperation.
Mr Abe said: "As maritime nations, for Japan and Indonesia, cooperation in the maritime area is the most important priority. Japan will actively promote cooperation in maritime security and the development of the smaller islands in Indonesia through the Indonesia-Japan Forum that was established in December last year."
In addition, both leaders discussed regional security issues including the South China Sea dispute.
Mr Abe also pledged to work with Indonesia in its fight against terrorism.
Mr Abe's visit to Indonesia reinforced the strategic partnership between the two countries as they prepare to celebrate 60 years of diplomatic relations next year.
The Japanese prime minister leaves for Vietnam on Monday for the last leg of his six-day tour of countries in the region.
Mr Abe kicked off his tour on Thursday with a visit to the Philippines. He is the first foreign leader to visit the country since President Rodrigo Duterte took office last year.