Previously serving as President of a state-owned Indonesian fertilizer firm, H.E. Mr. Tasrif has been in Japan as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, RI to Japan since April 2017. Wearing an Indonesian Batik, which is listed as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, Ambassador Arifin Tasrif spoke on the cooperative relationship between Japan and Indonesia, the economic impacts of Japanese investment, the relationship between ASEAN and Japan, and cooperation in tourism, all under the theme of “The Relationship between Japan and Indonesia”.
Indonesia and Japan have a long-standing friendship and in 2018 will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the signing of a peace treaty between the two nations. This close relationship is both economical and cultural, involving investment and resource provision, as well as culture and personal exchanges.
Following the lecture H.E. Mr. Tasrif welcomed questions from the students, and one asked him about the work environment for Indonesians in Japan. H.E. Mr. Tasrif answered, “Muslim prayer rooms used to be rare at workplaces in Japan, but now things are changing. I feel that there is increasing understanding of and respect for Islam and other religions.” To the question of what it takes to work together with a person having a different religious belief, H.E. Mr. Tasrif replied, “It takes an open mind and sharing. Try to accept the difference in values and cultures, and share these differences with the other person. No matter what your likes and dislikes are, first you need to show respect to that person.”
Indonesia has more than seventeen thousand islands, a population of 250 million,* and more than 700 languages. It is a highly diverse, multicultural and mixed-race nation with six religions, including Islam. The Faculty of Policy Studies is committed to hosting various programs that offer students opportunities to get to know more about the wider world and develop greater global awareness.
* Statistics Indonesia (BPS) data for 2015