Japan’s envoy expresses contentment with re-energised Look East Policy under Mahathir

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 10 — Malaysia and Japan are well on the way to bringing their ties to new heights in the next few years with the rejuvenation of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s ‘Look East Policy’, says Japan’s Ambassador to Malaysia, Hiroshi Oka.

“(I am) happy to see the Look East Policy re-energised with Tun Mahathir (coming) back to Prime Minister’s office…we would like to deepen and strengthen the mutual friendship between Malaysia and Japan in all fields namely business, politics, culture and perhaps education.

“In this way, we push forward the friendship between Japan and Malaysia based on the Look East Policy headed by Mahathir,” he told reporters after handing over certificates to 10 participants who have completed a visiting programme to Japan for teachers of Islamic schools in Malaysia 2019 at the Japan ambassador’s official residence here, today.

The Look East Policy was Introduced in 1982 by Dr Mahathir, and the principal goal of the policy was to shift Malaysia’s focus of relations from the West towards the new rising Asia, specifically Japan.

Commenting on the visiting programme which was sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Oka said the programme aims to deepen mutual understanding between Malaysia and Japan besides promoting intercultural and interfaith exchanges.

Via the programme which started from Sept 30 to Oct 8, 2019, ten Islamic teachers in Malaysia had visited Japanese schools where ‘Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)’ curriculum is being practiced.

ESD engages in activities that address various issues – such as those related to the environment, peace, and human rights – in an interdisciplinary and holistic way.

Meanwhile, programme coordinator Prof Dr Mohd Kamarulnizam Abdullah said through the programme, which was introduced in 2016, the Islamic teachers from various Islamic schools in Selangor and Negeri Sembilan engaged directly with the Japanese community to explain more about the moderate Islam practiced in Malaysia besides learning the Japanese culture to be adopted in the teachings of Islamic schools.

— BERNAMA

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