Japan and G7 are silent while Indonesia plans to divide West Papua

Japan and G7 are silent while Indonesia plans to divide West Papua

Sawako Utsumi and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Indonesia isn’t content with exploiting the natural resources of West Papua and altering the demographic and religious make-up of this part of the nation. Hence, dividing Papua into even more regional groupings is designed to encourage internal divisions and further the imprint of Indonesia’s colonial expansion that is literally rubber-stamped by G7 nations. 

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan castigates China and the Russian Federation at the drop of a hat – aimed at internal nationalism. However, Japan and other G7 nations continue to support Indonesia geopolitically and economically despite the brutal policies of Jakarta that are aimed at crushing the indigenous of West Papua. 

Proposals by the parliament of Indonesia to create new provinces are aimed at Jakarta’s power concentration. Thus the proposed new provinces and the Trans-Papua highway – along with other projects – are aimed at reducing the indigenous to further marginalization. 

The East Asia Forum reports, “Carving up Papua primarily benefits the central government in Jakarta and local government elites. Jakarta can deliver grants and projects more easily and work with smaller provinces and regencies to monitor their implementation. New administrative units would also justify a greater budget for the military and police to build more territorial bases and recruit more personnel.”

The same G7 nations that are flooding Ukraine with tens of billions of military arms and that denounce the Russian Federation (rightly or wrongly): are the same G7 nations that support Indonesia economically and geopolitically – and who not only sell military arms to Indonesia despite West Papua but they also exploit the resources of the indigenous Papuans. 

Modern Tokyo Times recently said, “Hence, while children are being killed by extrajudicial killings in West Papua by the Indonesian government, it is boom time for the military sectors of America and France. Likewise, companies in Japan will continue to make vast profits from Indonesia. Therefore, the human rights angle of Kishida means little to the people of West Papua.”

Free West Papua reported in May, “Demonstrations took place in West Papua and across Indonesia on 10th May against the expansion of the proposed new autonomous regions. Protestors gathered in cities including Jayapura, Wamena, Yogyakarta, and Denpasar. The demonstrations were marked by the excessive use of force by the Indonesian security forces, with several protesters injured by water cannon fire and rubber bullets.”

The BBC reports, “The appropriation of land for new settlements, forestry concessions, mining projects including oil, gas, copper, and gold and farming, as well as military presence has infringed upon indigenous rights to land, resources and culture.”

It appears that the Papuans must be too “dark-skinned” for Kishida and the political elites in Japan to care about. Hence, Kishida condemned the Russian Federation when meeting the leader of Indonesia (President Joko Widodo)and brought up China: but he was silent about West Papua. 

Kishida and universities in Japan are helping Ukrainians to study. However, where are the West Papuans? Thus, while Kishida is concerned about human rights in Ukraine, he ignores (like other G7 nations) endless persecution in West Papua. 

From sanctions on Russia to the desire for more trade with Indonesia sums up the marginalization of West Papuans in the hearts and minds of Japan and other G7 nations. However, unlike other G7 nations, Japan and Indonesia share the geopolitical space of the Asia-Pacific region. Therefore, ruling elites in Indonesia note the indifference of G7 nations to West Papua.

Hence, the exploitation of the resources of West Papua will continue – along with demographic and religious changes that will continue to marginalize and supplant the indigenous. 

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