KUALA LUMPUR,. Malaysia is to further strengthen defence cooperation with Japan and expects to ink several Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) with that country before the end of this year.
Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu said he was looking forward to making a trip to the Land of the Rising Sun soon.
“Malaysia recognises Japan’s contribution to peace and stability in the world.
“Even our Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, mentioned at a Cabinet meeting that Malaysia wants to follow the Japan style of defence,” he said, speaking in front of high-ranking delegates from various countries during the Japan Self-Defence Forces reception here today.
Also present were visiting Japan’s Foreign Affairs Minister Taro Kono; Japan’s Ambassador to Malaysia Mario Miyagawa and Malaysia’s Chief of Navy Admiral Tan Sri Ahmad Kamarulzzaman Ahmad Badaruddin.
Mohamad also extended Dr Mahathir’s apology for being unable to attend the reception.
“Due to some urgent matter, the Prime Minister is sadly unable to attend. He had told me in the morning that he wanted to attend. I know he was very keen to come,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kono, who had paid a courtesy call on Dr Mahathir; his Malaysian counterpart Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah and Council of Eminent Persons chairman Tun Daim Zainuddin earlier today, said diplomatic relations between Malaysia and Japan were very strong.
Kono, who had arrived here yesterday, said Japan was also looking forward to strengthening the bilateral relationship which entered its 60th year last August.
“There are a lot of things on which we can work together we will be very happy to discuss those issues,” he said.
He expressed gratitude for Malaysia’s concern over the floods in western Japan which had killed almost 200.