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PM to meet chiefs of top firms in Japan

Publish date: Thu, 23 May 2024, 09:11 AM

TOKYO: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's second visit to Japan in six months will be brief but packed with engagements with captains of industry in the world's fourth-largest economy.

The working trip comes less than a week after the Anwar-led Malaysian delegations to Qatar, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan secured over RM1 billion in potential exports.

Anwar arrived at Haneda International Airport here yesterday, 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.

He was received by Japan Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Yasushi Hosaka and Japanese ambassador to Malay-sia Katsuhiko Takahashi.

Today, he will attend a series of programmes involving Japanese government and business leaders.

His work visit begins with a keynote address at the Nikkei Forum 29th Future of Asia.

The annual event brings together the movers and shakers from Asia Pacific to discuss the region's role on the global stage.

It will be the first time Anwar will speak at the forum in his capacity as prime minister.

Other leaders speaking at the event include Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Gan Kim Yong, and Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai.

Anwar will then hold one-on-one meetings with Japanese captains of industry.

These include leaders of some of Japan's largest companies, including Sumitomo Corp, IHI Corp, Nisshin OilliO Group Ltd, ENEOS Corp, Tokoyuma Corp, Mitsubishi Corp and Tokyo Gas Co Ltd.

At 2pm, Anwar will have a bilateral meeting with his Japanese counterpart, Fumio Kishida, at Naikaku Sori Daijin Kantei, the office of the Prime Minister of Japan.

Anwar and Kishida, who oversaw the elevation of bilateral ties to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in December, are expected to discuss a host of issues.

These include collaboration on the economy, trade investment, the halal industry, energy transition, the environment, defence and security, capacity building and higher education.

The two leaders will also discuss regional and international issues, including the conflict in Gaza, the war in Ukraine, the South China Sea and the Korean Peninsula.

Anwar will then have one-to-one meetings with Japanese business leaders.

In the evening, he is scheduled to have a short meeting with Srettha and later attend the Nikkei Forum 29th Future of Asia conference dinner.

The meetings with Kishida and the Japanese businesses are expected to see the continuance of strong Malaysia-Japanese bilateral and economic ties.

During his last visit in December, the Anwar-led Malaysian delegation secured potential investments worth RM6.56 billion.

It also comes at a time when 50.2 per cent of Japanese companies in Malaysia are considering expanding their businesses within the next two years, according to the Japan External Trade Organisation's survey in January.

Tomorrow, Anwar will deliver a speech in honour of the late Professor Toshihiko Izutsu at Keio University in Tokyo.

Izutsu, an Islamic studies and comparative religion scholar, is renowned for translating the Quran into Japanese in 1958.

Anwar will hold engagements with members of the Japan National Press Club and the international press.

This will be followed by a session with the Malaysian press here.

He will then perform Friday prayers at the Tokyo Camii Mosque before departing for Malaysia.

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