Courtesy Call on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of the Republic of Singapore and Japan-Singapore Foreign Ministers’ Level Working Lunch
On October 8, Mr. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, who was visiting Singapore, paid a courtesy call on H.E. Mr. Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore, followed by a working lunch with H. E. Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Singapore. The overview of the events is as follows.
1. Courtesy Call on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (attended by Foreign Minister Balakrishnan) (commencing at 11:00 a.m. (local time) / noon (Japan time) for approximately 45 minutes)
- (1) Bilateral relations
At the outset, Prime Minister Lee welcomed Minister Hayashi's visit to Singapore and stated that he was very pleased to see steady progress in bilateral relations. In response, Minister Hayashi stated that Japan and Singapore had already had reciprocal visits at the summit and foreign minister’s level, which demonstrates the close relationship between the two countries. Minister Hayashi also stated that Japan would like to promote cooperation with Singapore towards the realization of a "Free and Open Indo-Pacific"(FOIP). Minister Hayashi also introduced the relaxation of Japan's border control measures, and Prime Minister Lee welcomed this decision very much and stated that Singaporeans are looking forward to visiting Japan. Minister Hayashi and Prime Minister Lee affirmed that they would continue to cooperate with each other through people-to-people exchanges, in view of the 50th year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation next year.
- (2) Regional situation
(a) Minister Hayashi stated that the purported "referenda" in Ukraine and the purported "incorporation" of Ukrainian regions by Russia infringe upon Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, constitute a violation of international law, and shall never be recognized. Minister Hayashi and Prime Minister Lee shared this recognition and strongly condemned it.
(b) Regarding North Korea, Minister Hayashi explained that the launches of ballistic missiles at the extremely high frequency of six times in the short period of time since the end of September, including the launch of a ballistic missile which flew over Japan on October 4 as well as the launch on October 6, constitute grave and imminent threats to Japan’s national security and it also poses a clear and serious challenge to the international community. Minister Hayashi and Prime Minister Lee concurred to coordinate on their response to North Korea, including the nuclear and missile issues, as well as the abductions issue.
(c) Minister Hayashi expressed his strong opposition to unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force in the East and South China Seas, and Minister Hayashi and Prime Minister Lee exchanged views on these issues.
(d) In addition, Minister Hayashi and Prime Minister Lee affirmed that they would strengthen coordination in various issues such as the situation in Myanmar, the maintaining of the high standards of the CPTPP, disarmament and non-proliferation, and the strengthening of the functions of the United Nations, including Security Council reform.
2. Japan-Singapore Foreign Ministers' Working Lunch (commencing at 0:10 p.m. (local time) / 1:10 p.m. (Japan time) for approximately 95 minutes)
- (1) General remarks
Minister Balakrishnan welcomed Minister Hayashi's first visit to Singapore as Minister for Foreign Affairs and expressed his intention to strengthen the relations with Japan as an important regional partner. In response, Minister Hayashi, referring to his participation in the Japan-Singapore Symposium in the past, stated that Singapore is an important partner and that he would like to continue to advance regional cooperation and economic partnerships. While referring to Russia's aggression against Ukraine, as well as North Korea and the situation in the East and South China Seas, Minister Hayashi stated that he would like to further promote cooperation with Singapore towards the realization of a "Free and Open Indo-Pacific"(FOIP) amidst the growing importance of an international order based on the rule of law.
- (2) Bilateral relations
(a) The two ministers concurred to strengthen security cooperation, including the early conclusion of the Agreement concerning the Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology, in view of the increasingly severe security environment in the region.
(b) With regard to economic security, Minister Hayashi welcomed the scheduled plan of training for third countries through the Japan-Singapore Partnership Programme (JSPP21) with the aim of building greater resilience of regional supply chains.
(c) Minister Hayashi explained the further relaxation of Japan's border control measures, and the two ministers concurred to further deepen mutual understanding through people-to-people exchanges.
- (3) Regional affairs and Cooperation in the International Arena
Taking into account the discussion during Minister Hayashi’s courtesy call on Prime Minister Lee, the two ministers exchanged views on Russia's aggression against Ukraine, response to North Korea including the nuclear and missile issues and the abductions issue, the situation in the East and South China Seas, as well as various regional and international issues, such as maintaining high standards of the CPTPP.