Japan-Singapore Relations

Japan-Singapore Summit Meeting

September 28, 2016
Japanese

1. Japan-Singapore Summit Meeting

On Wednesday, September 28, commencing at around 6:25 p.m. for approximately 40 minutes, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minster of Japan had a Summit Meeting with H.E. Mr Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore, who has been visiting Japan, at State Guest House. Key points are as follows. Other Japanese participants included Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Hagiuda and Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kotaro Nogami.

(1) At the outset, Prime Minister Abe warmly congratulated the milestone year of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries this yearOpen a New Window. Prime Minister Abe also noted that the late former Prime Minister Lee Kwan Yew was a great Asian leader and expressed pleasure at presenting the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers conferred upon him to Prime Minister Lee on that day. Moreover, Prime Minister Abe expressed his desire to elevate the relations between the two countries to an even higher plane for the next half century.

In response, Prime Minister Lee expressed gratitude for the warm welcome extended to him during his visit to mark the establishment of 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries as well as appreciation for Prime Minister Abe’s having paid his last respects to Singapore’s former President S R Nathan on his demise. While expressing his appreciation for Japan’s invitation to Singapore’s President Tony Tan to make a State Visit in November 2016, Prime Minister Lee stated that he was very honoured to receive the posthumous award of the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers on behalf of the late founding Prime Minister Lee Kwan Yew, commenting that the award was a great honour not only to the laureate and his family but also to Singapore as a whole.

(2) Prime Minister Abe commented that it was an honor to have the opportunity to pay respects to the late former Singapore President Nathan on the occasion of his demise last month. Prime Minister Abe also noted with appreciation that the current visit of Prime Minister Lee and the upcoming State Visit of President Tony Tan in November are highlights in commemorating the Japan-Singapore 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

(3) Prime Minister Abe expressed strong expectations for Singapore to adopt Japan’s Shinkansen system as a symbol of cooperation between the two countries , while expressing interest in strengthening collaboration with Singapore on development of LNG bunkering facilities.

In response, on the high-speed railway project, Prime Minister Lee explained that Singapore has been working with Malaysia, including the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding in Judy 2016, to ensure an objective and transparent selection in order to introduce the best possible train sets and system. Prime Minister Lee also said that Singapore is interested in discussing cooperation in LNG bunkering. Both leaders agreed on holding a Vice-Minister level meeting from the related Ministries to strengthen bilateral cooperation in land, sea and air transport and infrastructure.

(4) Moreover, Prime Minister Abe commended the broadening of the range of economic cooperation under the Japan-Singapore Economic Partnership Agreement (JSEPA), which is Japan’s first bilateral EPA, and welcomed the signing of the two memoranda of cooperation in the areas of trade and investment as well as urban development on this occasion. He also commended that the memoranda on the areas of tourism, intellectual property, and the science and technology which had been already signed this year illustrates the expansion of the range of economic cooperation between the two countries. The two leaders also agreed to cooperate for early entry into force of the TPP. In response, Prime Minister Lee explained that the memoranda being signed this time demonstrate a broad range of economic cooperation between the two countries and serve the best interests of the two countries. Emphasizing that there is still more that both countries can do together to enhance the Japan-Singapore EPA, Prime Minister Lee expressed desire to further cooperate in this area.

(5) Furthermore, Prime Minister Abe expressed interest in further promoting collaboration through bilateral dialogue on maritime security. He also expressed desire to further countermeasures against piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia through the ReCAAP (Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia) information sharing center, which is in its 10th year, and to expand defense exchanges and cooperation. In response, Prime Minister Lee stated that the two countries have a shared interest in cooperating for the regional stability from a strategic perspective and that he supports Japan’s policy of Proactive Contribution to Peace and its peace and security legislation in this context.

(6) The two leaders also discussed the situation in the South China Sea and confirmed the importance of the rule of law and collaboration by the international community. On North Korea, the two leaders agreed to take resolute stance against North Korea, including strict implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions, in relation to its repeated nuclear weapon tests and ballistic missile launches.

2. Presentation Ceremony of the Conferment of the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers

After the Summit Meeting, Prime Minister Abe presented the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers conferred upon the late former Prime Minister Lee Kwan Yew to Prime Minister Lee who represents the bereaved family.

Prime Minister Abe commented that the late former Prime Minister Lee Kwan Yew was one of the greatest leaders of modern times that Asia has ever produced and expressed his respect for the key role that he played in securing peace and prosperity for the Asia-Pacific region and the world for more than half a century. In bilateral context, he also noted that the late former Prime Minister Lee Kwan Yew, during and after his tenure as Prime Minister, frequently visited Japan including his State Visit to Japan in 1968 and made outstanding contributions in the advancement of the today’s good and close relations between Japan and Singapore. Furthermore, Prime Minister Abe announced that His Majesty the Emperor conferred the award upon the late former Prime Minister Lee Kwan Yew in acknowledgement of his contribution in strengthening the relations and building a friendship between Japan and Singapore over many years, adding that it is a great honour and pleasure to present the award to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, the son of the late former Prime Minister Lee Kwan Yew.

In response, Prime Minister Lee stated that Singapore is deeply honoured and is much obliged to the Government of Japan and people of Japan. He also commented that former Prime Minister Lee Kwan Yew placed emphasis on strengthening and developing ties with Japan and adopted a constructive approach to developing bilateral ties from the very early days of Singapore’s independence, which laid a solid foundation for the close relations of friendship enjoyed by both countries today. He also noted his desire to take the bilateral relations to even greater heights.

3. Ceremony for the Exchange of Signed Documents, Joint Press Announcement, and Banquet Hosted by Prime Minister Abe and His Spouse

(1) Ceremony for the Exchange of Signed Documents

After the presentation ceremony, the exchange of the following three documents witnessed by the two leaders.

  • 画像1
    (Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
  • 画像2
    (Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
  • 画像2
    (Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)

(a) Memorandum of Cooperation between the International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore) and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)
(Japan: JETRO Chairman & CEO Hiroyuki Ishige; Singapore: IE Singapore Director Ark Boon Lee);
to promote bi-directional trade and investment and third country collaboration in order to create business opportunities both in Japan and Singapore.

(b) Memorandum of Understanding between Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corporation for Transport & Urban Development (JOIN) and Surbana Jurong Private Limited
(Japan: JOIN President & CEO Takuma Hatano; Singapore: Surbana Jurong Private Limited Group President Mun Leong Liew);
to promote the formation of overseas urban and infrastructure projects jointly participated by companies from both countries through sharing of information and consultations from the initial stage of such projects.

(c) Supplemental Memorandum of Understanding between Tokyo Institute of Technology and Nanyang Technological University
(Japan: Tokyo Institute of Technology President Yoshinao Mishima;
Singapore: Nanyang Technological University Vice President Lam Khin Yong); to conduct joint research and technology development in the fields such as Environmental Engineering, New Molecular Chemistry.

(2) Joint Press Announcement and Banquet Hosted by Prime Minister Abe and His Spouse

After the ceremony for the exchange of signed documents, the two leaders held a joint press announcement.

This was followed by a banquet hosted by Prime Minister Abe and his spouse attended by approximately 60 invitees who have ties with Singapore. It was held in a very warm and friendly atmosphere, celebrating together the 50th anniversary of establishing diplomatic ties between the two countries with broad-ranging discussion on the bilateral relationship, including cultural and people-to-people exchanges.