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 on Wednesday (May 22), Malaysian Ambassador to Japan, Datuk Shahril Effendi Abd Ghany (pic), said the visit would be brief but packed with engagements with policymakers and industry captains as the prime minister must be back in Malaysia by the weekend.

Anwar would arrive in Tokyo later on Wednesday for a three-day working visit, accompanied by Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan; Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz and Human Resources Minister Steven Sim Chee Keong.

The prime minister visited Japan in December last year for a five-day working visit.

Specifically here for the 29th International Conference on the Future of Asia (Nikkei Conference), Shahril said Anwar would be the first leader to deliver a keynote address on Thursday (May 23).

His speech would revolve around the theme ‘Asian Leadership in an Uncertain World’, where he would 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 review and discuss initiatives to strengthen Malaysia-Japan relations, especially those related to high technology, energy transition and environmental cooperation, defence and security, capacity building, and higher education.

The two leaders would 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.

A government source said the two leaders are also expected to agree to work together in various fields, ranging from decarbonisation, digitalisation and 5G mobile communication systems to cybersecurity capabilities.

The report also said Japan seeks to bolster ties with emerging and developing countries, collectively called 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 one-on-one meetings with industry captains. 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.

The prime minister's interaction with Japanese and international media at the Japan National Press Club dialogue would also draw attention.

He would leave for home Friday evening after performing Friday prayers at the Tokyo Camii Mosque, the largest mosque in Japan. – Bernama

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