Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Law K Shanmugam is in Japan for an official visit from 22 to 24 October 2014.

            Minister Shanmugam called on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe this afternoon.  Minister Shanmugam thanked Prime Minister Abe for delivering the keynote address at the Shangri-La Dialogue in May this year, which emphasised the importance of the rule of law and regional stability. Minister Shanmugam and Prime Minister Abe also discussed the US-Japan security alliance, as well as the general regional situation. Minister Shanmugam welcomed Japan’s proposal for its “proactive contribution to peace” policy. Minister Shanmugam emphasised the importance of Japan continuing to play a major role in Southeast Asia.

            Minister Shanmugam was separately hosted to a working lunch by Minister for Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida.  The two Foreign Ministers reaffirmed the excellent relations between Singapore and Japan, which were underpinned by regular high-level interactions and economic linkages between both sides.  Minister Shanmugam and Foreign Minister Kishida also agreed to work closely towards an early conclusion of the third review of the Japan-Singapore New-Age Economic Partnership Agreement (JSEPA).  Both Ministers discussed ways to expand third country technical cooperation through the Japan-Singapore Partnership Programme for the 21st Century (JSPP21). In addition, both Ministers agreed to jointly explore initiatives to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Singapore-Japan diplomatic relations in 2016. 

            The Ministers had fruitful exchanges on the challenges facing the Asia-Pacific region. Minister Shanmugam welcomed Japan’s deepening engagement with ASEAN.  Both Ministers reiterated the importance of the East Asia Summit (EAS) as a premier platform for leaders to discuss wide-ranging issues, and looked forward to working with Japan to enhance and strengthen the EAS.

            In addition, Minister Shanmugam met with Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Secretary-General Sadakazu Tanigaki as well as exchanged views with Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) parliamentarians including DPJ Acting President Katsuya Okada.  Minister Shanmugam also met Japan-Singapore Parliamentary Friendship League (JSPFL) Chairman Kenji Kosaka and other members of the JSPFL over dinner.

            Minister Shanmugam will meet with his Ministry of Law counterpart Minister of Justice Yoko Kamikawa as well as National Security Secretariat Secretary-General Shotaro Yachi tomorrow.  Minister Shanmugam will also be hosted to lunch by Minister in charge of Overcoming Population Decline and Vitalising Local Economy in Japan Shigeru Ishiba.

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23 OCTOBER 2014