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Visit by Research Officials from National Institute for Defense Studies (NIDS), Japan

16 July 2018

The Maritime Institute of Malaysia received a delegation from NIDS led by Dr Tomotaka Shoji, Head of America, Europe and Russia Division, Regional Studies Department. Other members of the group comprised Mr Yu Harada, NIDS Research Fellow, and Colonel Manabu Mizakami, Defense Attaché and Mr Takashi Kodo, First Secretary (Political) from the Japanese Embassy in Malaysia.

Discussions during the visit covered the interests and outlook of NIDS on the regional security architecture, South China Sea issues including matters concerning joint development, Malaysia-China relations, and prospects for maritime cooperation within ASEAN.

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The delegates at the meeting

In response to queries concerning the Belt & Road Initiative of China (BRI) in Malaysia, Ms Sumathy, Research Fellow/Centre Head for the Centre for Straits of Malacca opined that while Malaysia views BRI as providing economic prospects to the country, the new administration believes that a re-assessment of projects under the initiative is essential to ensure mutual benefits are reaped. She also explained that Malaysia’s approach in the South China Sea has not changed and that protecting its maritime features remains a central tenet.

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Group photo

In rounding off the discussion, concerning interests on prospects for maritime cooperation within ASEAN Dr Rizal b. Abdul Kadir, Deputy Director General of MIMA suggested that Japan may explore capacity building initiatives in the South China Sea similar to that undertaken in the Straits of Malacca with the littoral States.

The delegates from NIDS thanked MIMA for the fruitful discussion and both parties welcomed opportunities for further such discussions in the near future.

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