From Noor Soraya Mohammad Jamal
TOKYO, May 31 (Bernama) -- Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad held a bilateral meeting with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe on Friday at the Prime Minister's Office in Nagato-cho, Chiyoda-ku, here.
It is anticipated that the two leaders are likely to discuss matters of mutual concern and interest to strengthen bilateral ties and collaboration in many fields, encompassing also trade, education and defence.
Dr Mahathir, in his opening remarks, said Malaysia highly appreciates the support from Japan and hopes the good relationship between the two countries will continue.
"We are also very happy that the business community in Japan pledge their support for investment and we look forward to more collaborations with Japan,” he said.
Abe, in his speech, said Japan will continue to support Malaysia and looks forward to reaffirming a Japan-Malaysia relationship that suits the new era in various fields and sectors.
"The ‘Look East’ Policy is the beacon of Japan and Malaysia friendship and bilateral ties,” he said.
The ‘Look East’ Policy, an initiative introduced by Dr Mahathir after he became the Malaysian prime minister for the first time in 1981, encourages the emulating of work ethics and business techniques from countries in the East, such as Japan and South Korea.
Abe also expressed his admiration for Malaysia's relentless initiatives to improve transparency and reduce the national debt.
Dr Mahathir is on the final day of a three-day working visit to Japan during which he also delivered a keynote address to the 25th International Conference on the Future of Asia or the Nikkei Conference.
This is Dr Mahathir’s fourth visit to Japan after becoming Malaysia’s prime minister for the second time following the country’s 14th General Election on May 9 last year.