ST Asian of the Year award a great honour, says Japan's PM
It is recognition of push to engage Asean and revival of Japan, says Abe
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said it was a "great honour" to be a joint winner of The Straits Times' Asian of the Year award, noting that it was a recognition of both his push to engage Asean and Japan's comeback in the past year.
Speaking at a press conference to wrap up a summit marking 40 years of Asean-Japan ties, Mr Abe said he felt very touched by the award, which was conferred on him and Chinese President Xi Jinping last week.
"I believe that this is a recognition of my thoughts towards Asean and Japan's contribution to the region," said Mr Abe. "The revival of Japan - Japan is back - and the revival of the Japanese economy, I believe, has been welcomed."
Instead of picking a single winner this year, The Straits Times chose both leaders to honour the domestic reforms and the regional charm offensive they have embarked on since assuming top leadership positions in their respective countries last year.