President Halimah, PM Lee send their congratulations to Emperor Naruhito

People in Tokyo yesterday showing a newspaper's extra edition reporting Emperor Naruhito's accession to the throne.
People in Tokyo yesterday showing a newspaper's extra edition reporting Emperor Naruhito's accession to the throne.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong sent congratulatory messages to Japan's Emperor Naruhito on the monarch's accession to the throne yesterday.

In her letter to the new Emperor, President Halimah expressed confidence that Japan will continue to prosper amid lasting peace and stability in the new Reiwa era, which fittingly represents the hope that all Japanese people will achieve their aspirations.

She said both Singapore and Japan share excellent ties and that she is looking forward to "working closely with Your Majesty to continue deepening the relations between our two countries" in the years ahead, according to a press statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"I wish you good health as well as every success in your new role, and hope to welcome Your Majesty and Her Majesty the Empress to Singapore soon," she said.

President Halimah also said Singaporeans appreciate the support of the retired royal couple, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko, for the strong friendship between the two countries, including their historic state visit to Singapore in 2006 to commemorate 40 years of diplomatic ties.

"Their Majesties the Emperor Emeritus and Empress Emerita leave behind a cherished legacy of compassion, dedication to the people of Japan, and commitment to peace around the world," she added.

PM Lee, in his letter to Emperor Naruhito, congratulated the monarch, and said relations between Singapore and Japan are excellent, underpinned by many common interests, frequent high-level exchanges, robust economic links and close people-to-people ties.

He also said that Singapore appreciates the support of the Emperor Emeritus and Empress Emerita for the strong friendship between the two countries over the years, including through their visit to Singapore in 2006.

"As we celebrate the auspicious dawn of your reign, I am confident that the relations between our two countries will reach even greater heights," he said.

"May the Japanese people achieve their aspirations of peace and unity in the new Reiwa era, as its name symbolises. I wish you good health and every success, and look forward to meeting you," he added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 02, 2019, with the headline 'President Halimah, PM Lee send their congratulations to Emperor Naruhito'. Print Edition | Subscribe