Japan-Singapore Relations

October 29, 2020

On October 29, commencing at 5:25 p.m. for approximately 15 minutes, Mr. SUGA Yoshihide, Prime Minister of Japan, held a summit telephone talk with H.E. Mr. LEE Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore. The overview of the talk is as follows.

1. At the outset, Prime Minister Suga said that the launch of the Residence Track and the first Business Track for Japan with Singapore in September is a manifestation of the strong relationship between the two countries. He also stated his wish to continue cooperating with Prime Minister Lee to overcome the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), including further promoting cross-boarder travel between the two countries. In response, Prime Minister Lee congratulated Prime Minister Suga on his appointment to office and stated his intention to further develop relationship with Japan, which is an important partner for Singapore particularly in the fields of the digital economy, cross-boarder travel and international trade.

2. Prime Minister Suga stated that Japan continues to promote a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” and stressed the importance of coordination with Singapore, which gives importance to freedom of navigation and international law. He also conveyed his intention to proceed with substantial cooperation on the “ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific,” which Japan fully supports. He went on to add that, amidst the spread of COVID-19, it is important to build an economy, which is resilient to crisis, by taking advantage of digital technology and strengthening the supply chain, and that he would like to coordinate with Singapore on this issue. Prime Minister Lee responded that he would like to collaborate more closely with Japan, including on various other regional issues.

3. In addition, the two leaders affirmed their coordination toward the ASEAN Summit and on the South China Sea situation. Prime Minister Suga also called for cooperation in addressing North Korea, including the abductions issue, and Prime Minister Lee expressed understanding for the matter.

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