Interview with Dr. Anies Rasyid Baswedan, Challenges of the young Governor of Jakarta, where multiple ethnic groups and cultures coexist

Jakarta is one of the world's mega cities with the population of ten million. We interviewed Dr. Anies Baswedan, who is set to become the Governor of on 16th October 2017. At the age of 38, he became Indonesia's youngest-ever University Rector. He then went on to serve as the Minister of Education and Culture for two years from 2014 to 2016 under the current government led by President Joko Widodo. We asked him his hopes and ambitions about building a closer cooperative tie between Jakarta and its sister city, Tokyo, and tackling various challenges the city faces as the new Governor of Jakarta.

Interview Summary:

―Could you share your opinion on the prospects of our sister cities, Tokyo and Jakarta?

Tokyo will be the host of the next Olympics, and Jakarta will be the host of the Asian Games in 2018. We face similar challenges, as we are both the most populous cities in our countries. The prospect for cooperation is definitely big on the economic side, as well as people-to-people cooperation, such as cultural exchange, educational exchange and social exchange, which is something we would like to promote. I would like to make sure that the long-term friendship we already had in the past will continue in the future..

-You have met the governor of Tokyo, Yuriko Koike, during your visit. What was your impression of herself?

The talk was very positive. She is very smart. She also understands well about our challenge, and links that to the challenge of Tokyo. We talked about the environment, infrastructures and education. I understand that she is trying to bring a global perspective into the city of Tokyo. I must say that she is a "visionary" who has a long-term perspective of the city of Tokyo. I look forward to having further cooperation with her.

-You will give a lecture at the SPF. What would you like to share with the Japanese audience?

I will share some of my experiences during the election campaign and our agenda for Jakarta. One of the biggest challenges in Jakarta is to ensure that the city provides equal opportunities for everyone who lives there. Disparity in the city is quite wide. In a city with around ten million people, we have no less than 3 million people living in poverty. If you look at achievements in education, we have a lot of big challenges. In north Jakarta, half of our youths have never graduated from high schools. For a capital city, that is a concern. Our tagline is "progressive city and happy population." One of the immediate challenges we would like to tackle is on the issue of inequality and poverty. On top of that, we will continue on infrastructure development. I will be also talking about the possibility of cooperation between Tokyo and Jakarta.

-The SPF is a non-profit private organization. What do you expect our role to be?

I want the SPF to be the bridge in strengthening cooperation between Jakarta and Tokyo, and Indonesia and Japan. Jakarta and Tokyo are sister cities already, but we need to have more cooperation. In the education, social and cultural areas, I think the SPF could help facilitate solutions to many issues. I hope institutions like the SPF can be the fertile ground for allowing possible cooperation to grow. We would love to have more exchange and more joint programs between Japan and Indonesia.


Play the video below for a full interview with Dr. Anies Rasyid Baswedan.

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