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Politics

Former furniture maker now Indonesia's hands-on president

A passion for heavy metal music made Joko Widodo world's first 'Metalhead of State'

Indonesian President Joko Widodo sits on a jetty in Raja Ampat, Indonesia during his interview on Dec. 22, 2017. (Photo by Shinya Sawai)

RAJA AMPAT, Indonesia -- Among Southeast Asia's major powers is Indonesia. Its president, Joko Widodo, a furniture maker, has risen to become the leader of this nation of 260 million people. 

Jokowi, as he is popularly known, spoke to the Nikkei Asian Review not at his official residence, the Merdeka Palace in the capital, Jakarta, but some 3,000km to the northwest on a jetty in the Raja Ampat Islands, an archipelago off the coast of West Papua Province on the island of New Guinea. He was barefoot and wearing his trademark white shirt, the sun gleaming on the emerald green sea, as we got started at 6:30 a.m.

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