Jakarta — Vice President Jusuf Kalla has said a number of Japanese companies and banks expressed interest in investing in Indonesia. The interest was expressed on the sidelines of the International Conference on The Future of Asia held from June 10 to 13 in Tokyo. “Almost all companies expressed a desire to increase their investments, from banking to manufacturing industries,” Kalla said, as quoted by tempo.co.id. During the conference, Kalla met with, among others, the representatives of MUFG Bank Ltd and Marubeni Corporation as well as Japan-Indonesia Association chairman Yasuo Fukuda. Kalla said he told Japanese businesspeople that the automotive industry invested significant funds in Indonesia and claimed that several companies wanted to invest in this sector. The banking industry was also attractive to Japanese investors, said Kalla. Japanese interest in the banking sector has been shown by the plans of major Japanese lenders to acquire two Indonesian banks. Last year, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation announced it would it raise its stake to a majority in PT Bank Tabungan Pensiunan Negara Tbk (BTPN). Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group has also announced its plan to buy 73.8 percent of Bank Danamon shares. Many potential Japanese investors also inquired about infrastructure projects under development by the government, said Kalla, adding that these investors also asked what investment needed by the country. Japanese companies are currently involved in several major projects in Indonesia, including the mass rapid transit (MRT) project in Jakarta, the Patimban Port project in West Java, and the Jakarta-Surabaya high speed train project.