ANWAR’S SECOND VISIT WITHIN SIX MONTHS SIGNIFIES PIVOTAL KL-TOKYO RELATIONSHIP

TOKYO, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's second visit to Japan within six months signifies the comprehensive and important 68-year relationship between the two nations. Speaking to the media here today, Malaysian Ambassador to Japan Datuk Shahril Effendi Abd Ghany said the visit will be brief but packed with engagements with policymakers and industry captains as the prime minister needs to be back in Malaysia by the weekend. Anwar will arrive in Tokyo later today for a three-day working visit, accompanied by Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan; Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz and Human Resources Minister Steven Sim Chee Keong. The prime minister made a five-day working visit to Japan in December last year. Specifically here for the 29th International Conference on the Future of Asia (Nikkei Conference), Shahril said Anwar will be the first leader to deliver a keynote address at the conference tomorrow. His speech will revolve around the theme 'Asian Leadership in an Uncertain World', where he will also touch on geopolitical issues and Malaysia's ASEAN chairmanship next year. Anwar is also scheduled to hold a bilateral meeting with his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida at the latter's office tomorrow to take stock and discuss initiatives to strengthen Malaysia-Japan relations, especially pertaining to high technology, energy transition and environmental cooperation, defence and security, capacity building and higher education. The two leaders will also discuss geopolitical and regional issues, including the genocide in Gaza, the war in Ukraine, the South China Sea and the Korean Peninsula, Shahril said. A local media outlet reported that Kishida and Anwar are set to confirm their cooperation in strengthening semiconductor supply chains at their meeting. Quoting a government source, it said the two leaders are also expected to agree to work together in various fields, ranging from decarbonisation, digitalisation and 5G mobile communicatio n systems to cybersecurity capabilities. The report also said Japan seeks to bolster ties with emerging and developing countries, collectively referred to as the Global South, including the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), where Malaysia will take the chairmanship next year. In between the bilateral meetings, Anwar has scheduled two sessions of one-on-one meetings with captains of industry. Among the companies scheduled for the sessions are Mitsubishi Corporation, Tokyo Gas, Tokuyama Corporation, Eneos Holding and IHI Corporation. Another highlight of Anwar's visit is his commemorative speech in honour of the late Professor Toshihiko Izutsu at Keio University here. Izutsu was a Japanese scholar specialising in Islamic studies and comparative religion. He is known as the first and best translator of the Quran into Japanese. Also drawing attention will be the prime minister's interaction with Japanese and international media at the Japan National Press Club dialogue. He will leave for home Friday evening after performing Friday prayers at the Tokyo Camii Mosque, the largest mosque in Japan. Source: BERNAMA News Agency