by BERNAMA / pic by BERNAMA
KUALA LUMPUR – Bilateral ties between Malaysia and Japan are strategic and of precious value, said Japanese Ambassador to Malaysia Hiroshi Oka (picture).
The list of cooperation between both nations is boundless and enormous strides have been achieved, thanks to Malaysia’s Look East Policy, he said in a speech broadcast online in conjunction with Japan’s National Day celebration.
He said robust trade and investment under the policy had been the driving force in the bilateral relations with about 1,500 Japanese companies in Malaysia creating 340,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector alone.
Japan, the top investor in Malaysia in 2019, was now expanding from the traditional focus on electrical and electronics to highly-value added manufacturing such as medical equipment and service sectors like digital, halal industry and logistics.
“We will spare no effort to encourage more investment from Japan to support the Malaysian government’s efforts to enhance productivity,” he said.
Another key area of cooperation is education and human capacity and since the launch of the Look East Policy nearly 40 years ago, about 27,000 Malaysians have benefited from further studies in Japan.
“Once back in Malaysia, they have been playing significant roles at the forefront of every field and given unique strength to the foundation of our close ties,” he added.
Oka also spoke at length about cooperation in overcoming challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic with Japan providing various forms of support to the Malaysian people.
These included the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical equipment.
It is also supporting the establishment of the ASEAN Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases to help ASEAN countries develop their capacity to cope with infectious diseases.
For both purposes, Japan had contributed US$60 million while another contribution worth US$300 million had been committed to support the development and global distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines.