Deputy Minister of Japan Masahisa Sato visited Biak Numfor, Papua Province, on Monday, to strengthen cooperation with the Indonesian Government.

The Japanese official was pleased to be able to visit Biak Numfor District for the first time.

He said Biak is a special place for Japan, as some fallen Japanese soldiers had been buried there during World War II.

"I hope this working visit to Biak Numfor District would intensify bilateral ties with the Indonesian Government, in general, and with Papua Province as well as Biak Numfor, in particular," Sato stated.

Acting Biak Numfor Regent Herry Ario Naap greeted the Japanese deputy minister and expressed hope for closer bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

Biak had helped return the remains of fallen Japanese soldiers, he noted.

He called for cooperation between Biak and Japan in the fields of education, aviation, fishery, and tourism, among others.

During the visit to Biak, Sato was accompanied by Director of second South East Asia Division Shingo Myamoto and Secretary of the State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan Isao Tezuka

Several diplomats of the Japanese embassy in Jakarta who were also part of the visit included Deputy Chief of Mission Keiichi Ono, First Secretary (economy) Daisuke Inoue, and Second Secretary (politics) Katnonori Tsunoda.

The Indonesian foreign ministry`s officials accompanying Sato were Diplomatic Security Director Teguh Wardoyo, Yosep Tutu, and Veronika Vonny, among others. (ANTARA)


Mayor of Denpasar, Bali Province, Ida Bagus Rai Dharmawijaya Mantra has endorsed the inclusion of `Gamelan` as one of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of the UNESCO.

The entertainment using the gamelan has thrived in numerous areas in Indonesia, including the city of Denpasar and Bali in general, Mantra said while receiving the Head of Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture`s Research and Development Agency Team Ihya Ulumuddin in the Tukad Bindu area of East Denpasar in Bali, Sunday.

"We support the nomination of `Gamelan` to be included in the list of the UNESCO`s Intangible Cultural Heritage, as Gamelan is one of Indonesia`s noble cultural legacies," Mantra pointed out.

He stated that Balinese Gamelan in particular has its own unique characteristics, as the set of instruments is used as accompaniment to traditional and religious ceremonies in Bali, and the existence of gamelan as part of "Panca Gita" which must be preserved.

Furthermore, the Mayor, who was accompanied by Head of Denpasar Cultural Office I Gusti Ngurah Bagus Mataram, said he is grateful and appreciative towards the Ministry as it had proposed Gamelan to be included in the UNESCO`s list of intangible cultural heritage.

Previously, the UNESCO had included the Subak dance from Renon Village and Sanur, Legong Keraton dance, Basmerah and the Ngerebong tradition of Kesiman village as world heritages.

"In the future, we hope the team from the Ministry of Education and Culture can review it again, because in Bali and Denpasar in particular, we have various kinds of traditions and cultures that might later be proposed to UNESCO, so that they can be established as world cultural heritage as an encouragement for artists, community and activists," said further Mantra.

Meanwhile, Head of Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture`s Research and Development Agency Team Ihya Ulumuddin said that he has already agreed to what was conveyed by the Minister of Education and Culture as well as the Expert Board on the proposal of Gamelan as one of the UNESCO`s world heritage, alongside Reog Ponorogo and Kulintang.

He also said that his team is carrying out reviews in several areas including Bali, Java, Sunda, Sumatra and Kalimantan, in relation to the proposal of having Gamelan in the UNESCO`s heritage list.

One of the indicators for his assessment include a unique characteristic that could be perceived as the strength of a particular community to inherit cultural values within it.

"We hope that the UNESCO would include, in its world heritage list, not only the Gamelan itself, but also the cultural values that could be exposed to the all levels of the community and can continue to thrive and be practiced by the people," he said, adding that he came over to Denpasar to collect data and take visual images. (ANTARA)


Roller skaters from the Indonesian province of East Kalimantan took home two gold and one bronze medal from the Asian roller skating championship 2018 held in China recently.

The gold medals were contributed by Anjang Pius in the mens 21 km marathon class and Sukma Intan Sari in the women`s 21 km marathon class, Bumi Etam roller skating coach Karta Wibawa said on Sunday.

"Pius and Sukma have performed extraordinarily since the qualifying round. We thank God that they played consistently until the finals so they emerged as champions," he said in a short message text.

The East Kalimantan roller skating team also won a bronze medal through Rangga Putra in the men`s 21 km marathon class.

"Thank God, our athletes have done their best by winning two gold and one bronze medals although the other athletes did not get any medal," he said.

The other athletes including Ananda Vito, Kristianus Gevin, and Nur Annisa played quite well but their performance began to decline when they entered the finals, he said.

"We will evaluate and improve their performance . Their performance is quite good but they are still unable to penetrate the medal zone," he said.

Besides the satisfactory result, the roller skating team also got a valuable lesson during the tournament particularly with regard to extreme weather, he said.


Vice President M Jusuf Kalla arrived in New York, the United States, on Sunday afternoon local time, to attend a UN General Assembly session.

The vice president arrived at Terterboro Airport, using a special plane after flying for about an hour from Boston Logan International Airport, the United States.

From Terterbero Airport, the Vice President went straight to the hotel where he would stay.

Kalla arrived at the hotel on Sunday afternoon around 3:15 p.m. local time, or Monday morning at 2:15 a.m. Western Indonesian Standard Time (WIB).

Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi welcomed the Vice President at the hotel where he would be staying.

Vice President Kalla will lead the Indonesian delegation at the 73rd UN General Assembly session at the Assembly Hall, at the United Nations headquarters, New York.

The Vice President will start the General Session agenda by attending the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit, Monday (New York time).

The agenda is based on a decision in the UNGA 72/243 resolution, adopted on December 22, 2017, said Vice Presidential Spokesman Husain Abdullah in New York, Saturday night or Sunday morning in Indonesia.

UN member states based on the decision should held a high-level plenary meeting on global peace, in honor of the centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela. The meeting was attended by the heads of state, starting from morning to evening.

Vice President Jusuf Kalla will deliver the Indonesian views during the general debate of the 73rd UN general assembly on Thursday (Sept 27) local time.

The Vice President in the event is among others accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno L.P. Marsudi and Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture Puan Maharani.

Previously the Vice President was in Boston, the United States, on Friday. He was in Boston to attend a discussion and had a lunch in the afternoon with Fletcher and Tufts University students. (ANTARA)