Malaysia, Japan accelerate revitalisation of 
Look East Policy 2.0

By RAHIMI YUNUS / Pic AFP

Malaysia and Japan are set to increase the momentum to revitalise the Look East Policy 2.0 (LEP 2.0) and deepen collaborations in new areas including in the fourth industrial revolution.

“Both countries acknowledged the need to incorporate new trends in the bilateral cooperation into the framework of LEP 2.0, so that LEP 2.0 reinforces its relevance as the platform for implementing the LEP concept and projects,” the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) said in a statement yesterday.

The statement was made following the second bilateral coordinating committee meeting of the LEP 2.0 between the Malaysian government and its counterpart on March 8 in Tokyo.

MITI said both governments hail the efforts and contributions made by each government since the committee’s first meeting in 2016.

It said among projects that were discussed include the special preparatory programme for Malaysian government scholarship students, the LEP 2.0 training programme, science and technology research partnership, and bilateral cooperation projects.

The bilateral coordinating committee meeting was co-chaired by DG of the Southeast and Southwest Asian Affairs Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Shigeki Takizaki and MITI deputy secretary general (trade) Datuk Seri Norazman Ayob, along with other officials from government agencies of both sides.

Putrajaya and Tokyo have agreed to hold the third bilateral coordinating committee meeting in Malaysia next year.

MITI said participants also welcome the momentum for revitalising the LEP following the appointment of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as the seventh prime minister (PM), who is the founding father of the LEP in 1982.

The LEP was originally formulated by Dr Mahathir in 1982, who was the then-fourth PM of Malaysia.

Since its inception in 1982 and most notably since the committee’s first meeting in 2016, the LEP has contributed significantly to enhancing bilateral cooperations between Malaysia and Japan in areas such as education, human resources development, and science and technology.

The LEP celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2012 and both the Malaysian and Japanese PMs had agreed a year later to establish a framework of the LEP 2.0.