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Japan wants to strengthen ties with Asean, says PM Abe

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (right) at a joint news conference at the Istana in Singapore on Friday, July 26, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (right) at a joint news conference at the Istana in Singapore on Friday, July 26, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (right) at a joint news conference at the Istana in Singapore on Friday, July 26, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (right) at a joint news conference at the Istana in Singapore on Friday, July 26, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (right) at a joint news conference at the Istana in Singapore on Friday, July 26, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (right) at a joint news conference at the Istana in Singapore on Friday, July 26, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana on Friday, July 26, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana on Friday, July 26, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana on Friday, July 26, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana on Friday, July 26, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gives a statement to the media at the Istana in Singapore on Friday, July 26, 2013. Mr Abe says he intends to promote strategic diplomacy in the region, particularly with an eye to strengthening ties and economic pa
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gives a statement to the media at the Istana in Singapore on Friday, July 26, 2013. Mr Abe says he intends to promote strategic diplomacy in the region, particularly with an eye to strengthening ties and economic partnership with Asean. -- PHOTO: AP

Visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he intends to promote "strategic diplomacy" in the region, particularly with an eye to strengthening ties and economic partnership with Asean.

"I wish to embrace the vitality of Asean (and incorporate it ) into the revitalisation of the Japanese economy," Mr Abe told reporters at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Mr Lee said it was a good sign that Mr Abe chose to visit South-east Asia so soon after the recent Japanese Upper House elections, where Mr Abe's Liberal Democratic Party and its New Komeito ally won a resounding victory.

Mr Lee added: "We are very happy to develop the relationship and we think our Asean partners would also be very eager to do so."

Mr Abe is visiting South-east Asia for the third time since taking office in December last year. He visited Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand in January and Myanmar in May.

He arrived in Malaysia on yesterday prior to his official visit in Singapore today. He leaves for the Philippines this evening as part of a three-nation South-east Asia tour.

Mr Abe is scheduled to deliver a speech on his much discussed economic policies, dubbed "Abenomics", at a public lecture here later this afternoon.

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