National Maritime Day in Indonesia Date in the current year: September 23, 2024

National Maritime Day in Indonesia National Maritime Day is celebrated in Indonesia annually on September 23. It was established in 1964 by President Sukarno to commemorate the country’s first (and only) Maritime Conference that was held in 1963.

Indonesia is the world’s largest island country; the Indonesian Archipelago consists of more than 17,000 officially listed islands, of which almost 8,000 island are named and more than 900 are permanently inhabited. So it goes without saying that the maritime sector plays a major role in Indonesia’s economy, society, and national security.

For instance, sea transport is extremely important for the country’s economic integration, as well as for domestic and foreign trade. Each major island of the Indonesian Archipelago has at least one significant port for commercial and passenger vessels. Two of the most important international maritime shipping routes pass through the territorial waters of Indonesia. A lot of economic activities related to the sea contribute significantly to Indonesia’s GDP. They include shipbuilding, fishing, and mariculture (marine aquaculture).

The maritime sector of Indonesia faces a number of challenges that prevent it from thriving, such as high logistics costs, high import duty, imperfect legislation and regulation by the state, illegal fishing, and others. However, the Indonesian government has established the maritime sector as one of the main priorities in its economic policies, and steps are being made to improve the situation.

There is some confusion regarding the date of National Maritime Day in Indonesia. Some sources claim that it is celebrated on August 21 or twice a year, on August 21 and September 23. There has indeed been a proposal to celebrate National Maritime Day on August 21 in order to commemorate an episode of the Indonesian National Revolution, where Indonesian nationalists attacked a Japanese military warehouse in a harbor near Subaraya. The next day, the Indonesian government formed the People’s Marine Security Agency (Badan Keamanan Rakyat Laut, BKR Laut), the precursor to the Indonesian Navy.

However, several organizations, including the Indonesian Maritime Youth Association (Asosiasi Pemuda Maritim Indonesia, APMI), have disputed the choice of the date because the Indonesian Navy had not been formed yet when the attack occurred, as well as because it was just one of many attacks that occurred in different parts of Indonesia.

Besides, at the time the proposal was made, Indonesia already had a National Maritime Day. It was established in 1964 during President Sukarno’s tenure to commemorate the 1963 Maritime Conference (Musyawarah Maritim). Despite its official status, National Maritime Day has been overlooked by the recent Indonesian government.

Since the current government of Indonesia hasn’t reaffirmed the date of National Maritime Day, the holiday isn’t celebrated very widely. Nevertheless, maritime organizations and other stakeholders organize various events to promote the development of Indonesia’s maritime sector, raise awareness of the challenges it faces, and consolidate efforts to tackle these challenges.

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National Maritime Day in Indonesia, holidays in Indonesia, professional observances, maritime sector of Indonesia