Japan-Malaysia Maritime Cooperation: Examining Regional Security Issues and Enhancing Strategic Dialogue

Japan Malaysia Maritime Cooperation


The Maritime Institute of Malaysia and Japan Institute for International Affairs co-hosted the inaugural workshop on Japan Malaysia Maritime Cooperation in Tokyo on 18 July 2017. The workshop was the first in the series with the second to be organized in Kuala Lumpur later this year. This workshop was a component of a project undertaken by MIMA on Japan-Malaysia Maritime Cooperation that is supported by the Japanese Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Wisma Putra, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tokyo.


Seated from left: Prof. Tsutomu Kikuchi, Professor, Aoyamagakuin University /Senior Adjunct Fellow, JIIA, Admiral Dato’ Chin Yoon Chin, Director General MIMA, Vice Admiral Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Ramli, Chairman MIMA, Mr. Kochi AI, Director General (Acting, JIIA), Dr. Seiichiro Takagi, Senior Research Advisor, JIAA, Ms. Haznah Md. Hashim, Deputy Director General, Mofa, Malaysia with Workshop speakers and participants


The year 2017 marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and Japan. The workshop was a significant milestone in Malaysia-Japan relations which have remained robust especially with the adoption of Malaysia’s Look East policy in the 1980s with the focus on enhancing the education and training sectors.

Workshop participants comprised representative from Malaysian government agencies including representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malaysia, National Security Council, Royal Malaysian Navy, Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency, and the Marine Department, representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan, researchers from JIIA and MIMA, as well international experts from the region.


MIMA-JIAA Workshop participants


The workshop examined issues and challenges relating to the evolution of maritime cooperation between Japan and Malaysia and the initiatives needed to elevate it to higher strategic and operational levels. The presentations and discussions focused on matters concerning geo-strategy in the Indo-Pacific, safety and security in the Straits of Malacca, and rule of law issues.

The one-day workshop generated much discussion and perspectives on current and future issues that have a significant bearing on the Malaysia-Japan relationship as well as events and developments unfolding in the immediate region and the wider domain. These will form the basis for the way forward in addressing pertinent issues impacting maritime relationships between Japan and Malaysia and form the basis for enhanced deliberations at the second workshop to be held towards the end of the year.

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