Japan-Singapore ties bloomed under Abe's leadership

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (right) welcomed Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong upon his arrival at Osaka, Japan, in 2019.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (right) welcomed Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong upon his arrival at Osaka, Japan, in 2019.PHOTO: ST FILE

TOKYO - When Singapore's former president S R Nathan died in 2016, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was the first foreign leader to personally pay his respects at the state funeral.

He said then that Japan would never forget the kindness of Mr Nathan, who was fluent in Japanese and in 2009 had become the first foreign head of state to visit Hiroshima to meet atomic bomb survivors.

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