There is nothing unusual in Malaysia’s Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s visit to Japan except for the fact that the Malaysian leader has a large following in country of the rising sun and the Japanese people does not miss an opportunity to show their appreciation for the nanogenarian.

At 93, Dr Mahathir looks vibrant though noticeable changes in his speech and walking speed is showing but his expression is still as captivating.

And once again there was a grand sent off from the hotel staffs for the elderly leader after a positive and successful round of talks and speeches in Japan.

Last year, the same treatment was given to the beloved leader by a Japanese hotel staff after he visited the country following his shock victory in the Malaysian General Elections.

The hotel staff saluted and clapped for him with Prime Minister Abe leading the delegation to Dr M’s car.

A video posted on Twitter on May 31 shows Japanese hotel staff lining up to bid him farewell.

The heartwarming video shows the hotel staff – from the management team to kitchen staff – lining up and clapping non-stop to show their admiration towards Dr Mahathir.

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Dr Mahathir and Japan has a long and rich relationship that has become institutionalised, perhaps from the fact that the Malaysian PM shows great reverence to the Japanese culture and people.

Often times, Dr Mahathir speaks about the Japanese culture urging the Malaysians to adopt them and learn from them.

One of the core foreign policies of Dr Mahathir is the Look East Policy implemented 38 years ago, which became fundamental to the relationship between both nations.

For Dr M, the Look East Policy celebrates Japanese and South Korean work ethics and business practices, encouraging Malaysians to follow suit.

Abe agrees with the policy and gives strong support to the Look East policy which is aimed at providing mutually-beneficial deals between the Southeast Asian nation and its trading partners in Asia.

PM Abe was quoted as saying, “The ‘Look East’ Policy is the beacon of Japan and Malaysia friendship and bilateral ties.” He also expresses approval for Malaysia’s attempts to curb corruption and improve transparency and accountability in the government.

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Dr Mahathir Mohamad and be held bilateral talks on May 31 at Abe’s office in Nagato-cho, concluding Dr Mahathir’s three-day national visit to Japan.

The leaders also discussed matters regarding both nations’ bilateral ties, collaboration in trade, education, and national defence.

They also discussed the possibility of issuing additional Samurai Bonds after the successful implementation of the 200 billion yen (S$2.5 million) bond provided by JBIC last March.

The amount was expected to improve Malaysia’s financial portfolios and lessen foreign exchange risks.

“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,” PM Mahathir said in his opening remarks reported by Malay Mail.

[Thread] Malaysia and Japan Official Meeting:

During a bilateral meeting with Tun M today, the Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo expressed JBIC’s readiness to issue more Samurai Bonds for Malaysia.

For the record, JBIC has issued 200 billion yen (RM7.4 bilion) @501Awani

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— Initial: FA (@FirdausAzil) May 31, 2019

The two leaders discussed establishing a branch of Japan’s University of Tsukuba in Malaysia, and Dr Mahathir expressed gratitude for Japan’s programs on human resource training for Malaysia’s transport engineers.

Japan and Malaysia agreed to cooperate regarding concerns of national defence and the navigational safety in the Straits of Malacca, across the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean. /TISG