With a population of approximately 247m made up of more than 300 different ethnic groups, Indonesia is the third-largest democracy in the world while also being the world’s most populous Muslim nation. The country has a total land mass of 1,904,569 sq km, spread over an archipelago of around 17,508 islands, some 6,000 of which are inhabited. Jakarta is the country’s most populated city, with more than 10.18m inhabitants living within an area of 740 sq km. A total of 15 parties are expected to contest the 2014 elections, vying for the votes of around 175m potential voters, 67m of whom will be voting for the first time. With the year ahead set to see the much-anticipated election of a new president and new national and regional legislatures, 2014 will likely be a time of great political activity in Indonesia.
This chapter contains viewpoints from President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono; and Xi Jinping, President of China; and an interview with Yasuo Fukuda, former Prime Minister of Japan.