Indonesia, Japan affirm deeper ties during Abe's Asian tour

Japan and Indonesia have affirmed a deepening of economic and political ties during a visit by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is using a four-nation tour of Asia to underscore his government's role in countering China's assertiveness in the South China Sea.

Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said Sunday that the increase in Japanese investment in Indonesia has been "very significant," more than doubling to $4.5 billion in January-September of last year.

He said the countries agreed their defense and foreign ministers will meet jointly in Indonesia this year under a new forum they established in 2015 to increase maritime cooperation.

Jokowi said there were agreements on development of a deep sea port and the Masela gas field in Indonesia, and for preliminary discussions of a Jakarta-Surabaya rail line.