Welcome Remarks by State Secretary for Foreign Affairs,
Mr. Shintaro Ito,
at Welcome Reception of the 7th Japan-Singapore Symposium

(photo) (photo)


Your Excellency, Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Abidin Rasheed Zainul,
Honorable Co-Chair Tommy Koh,
Honorable Co-Chair Shotaro Yachi,
Ladies and gentlemen,

It's my great pleasure to host this welcome reception today, on the occasion of the 7th Japan-Singapore Symposium, with the presence of His Excellency Mr. Zainul and other people of high renown. I would like to express my sincere gratitude and respect to the Institute of Policy Studies, the Japan Forum on International Relations and all those who have worked hard to realize this Symposium.

More than ten years have passed since the first Symposium in September 1995 and since then, a large number of well-informed people and experts from both countries have participated from various backgrounds, including the political, academic, economic, industrial, media, and public sectors, discussing frankly and actively to deepen intellectual exchanges and broaden relations between our two nations. This fact is one of the symbols of how mature our relationship has become.

Because both of our countries belong to the same Asia-Pacific region and share common interests, the significance of Singaporean-Japanese cooperation has recently been increasing even more in the international society. Our cooperation is based on a positive and mature bilateral relationship that aims to contribute to the region and to the entire world.

The 7th Japan-Singapore Symposium is being held in the middle of the world economy's confusion derived from the global financial crisis. Today, we had interesting sessions on subjects such as "the East Asia Community" and "Economic Integration and Sustainable Development," where we discussed how we should cope with this crisis. As a result, a unique identity of East Asia has blossomed. I hope tomorrow in the open session as well, there will be active discussions and suggestions for inspiring ideas.

Ladies and gentlemen,

You have been devoting yourselves to strengthening relations between Singapore and Japan for many years. Working together with all of you who possess unmatched knowledge and valuable experience, I would like to continue to promote our bilateral relationship as well as relations between Japan and East Asia.

Thank you very much.

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