Indonesia, Japan agree to discuss Jakarta-Surabaya rail project

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (centre), accompanied by Indonesian President Joko Widodo, inspects the honour guard during the arrival ceremony held at the Presidential Palace in Bogor, Indonesia on Jan 15, 2017.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (centre), accompanied by Indonesian President Joko Widodo, inspects the honour guard during the arrival ceremony held at the Presidential Palace in Bogor, Indonesia on Jan 15, 2017. PHOTO: EPA

BOGOR (Reuters) - Indonesia and Japan have agreed to an initial discussion for a railway project connecting the South-east Asian nation's capital and second-biggest city, Indonesian President Joko Widodo said on Sunday (Jan 15).

Both countries also plan to develop the Masela gas block in Indonesia's Maluku Province and Patimban port in West Java, Mr Widodo said after a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Indonesia's presidential palace in Bogor.

Indonesia's transport minister told Reuters in October that the government had invited Japan to submit proposals to work on a railway line connecting Jakarta to Surabaya.

Japan has historically been one of Indonesia's biggest investors, but was dealt a blow in 2015 when the South-east Asian nation awarded China a high-speed train project linking Jakarta with the city of Bandung.