What foreign leaders say

Japan will never forget S R Nathan's visit to Hiroshima: Abe

Mr Abe and his wife Akie paying their last respects to Mr Nathan at Parliament House yesterday. In a condolence message, the Japanese Prime Minister described him as a "cornerstone of unity" for Singaporeans.
Mr Abe and his wife Akie paying their last respects to Mr Nathan at Parliament House yesterday. In a condolence message, the Japanese Prime Minister described him as a "cornerstone of unity" for Singaporeans.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a stopover in Singapore en route to Kenya to pay his last respects to former president S R Nathan at Parliament House yesterday afternoon. Mr Abe and his wife were accompanied by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Mrs Lee.

Mr Abe told Mrs Nathan that Japan would never forget how Mr Nathan, when on a state visit to Japan in 2009, became the first foreign head of state to visit Hiroshima to meet atomic bomb victims.

PM Lee wrote on Facebook: "Grateful to PM Abe and Mrs Abe for attending Mr Nathan's lying in state. May we build on Mr Nathan's legacy to bring our bilateral relations to greater heights."

 

Mr Abe on Wednesday wrote a condolence message remembering Mr Nathan for his contributions towards bilateral ties, and describing him as a "cornerstone of unity" for Singaporeans. He also highlighted Mr Nathan's courage during the Laju hijacking incident in 1974.

In Taipei, former Taiwan president Ma Ying-jeou went to the Singapore Trade Office to pay his last respects.

 

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Walter Sim

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 26, 2016, with the headline 'Japan will never forget Nathan's visit to Hiroshima: Abe'. Print Edition | Subscribe