Roundtable on “Formulating the Indonesian Middle Power Strategy: Reflecting Japan’s Experience” | Center for Southeast Asian Studies Kyoto University


Roundtable on “Formulating the Indonesian Middle Power Strategy: Reflecting Japan’s Experience”

This roundtable is a joint cooperation between CSEAS and CSIS (Centre for Strategic and International Studies) of Indonesia.

The participants are:

In the next two decades or so, specifically in 2045 called as the year for “Indonesia Emas” (Golden Indonesia), Indonesia seeks to assert itself as a prominent global player. Many analysts predict that the country would become the 4th largest economy in the world. At the same time, once forecasted would be balkanized during its turbulent political transition ‘Reformasi’ in the late 1990s followed from the devastating domestic economy crumble in the aftermath of the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, now Indonesia has thrived as one of the largest and most dynamic democracies.

Against this background, there have been many questions as well as expectations on where Indonesia is heading to with its foreign policy. Indonesia is often expected to play a role as a middle power in the region, especially amidst the intensifying geopolitical rivalry in the Indo-Pacific. With its independent and active foreign policy doctrine, Indonesia is also expected to exercise its own agency, leadership, and strategic autonomy in safeguarding international peace and stability.

It is important for the incoming new leader of Indonesia to be informed on how external partners view the country and what kind of expectations on Indonesia’s future global roles. How should Indonesia pursue the implementation of its independent and active foreign policy in the future to maximize its interests as well as to contribute to regional and global security?

Therefore, the Department of International Relations of CSIS Indonesia is conducting a project to answer those questions. It seeks to provide recommendations to the next government on how Indonesia foreign policy should be pursued based on the aspirations both of its own people as well as the external partners who wish to see Indonesia to “punch according to its weight.” One of the project activities is to gather views regarding Indonesia’s foreign policy from relevant officials and think-tank experts in selected key countries. Particularly with Japan, the CSIS team wishes to learn Japan’s perspectives on Indonesia-Japan relations and Jakarta’s foreign policy performance in navigating the uncertainties resulted by great power rivalries in the Indo-Pacific.