Singapore and Japan reaffirm excellent relations ahead of G-20 meeting

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (left) and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reiterated their commitment to working closely to achieve an expeditious conclusion to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership by the end of 2019.
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (left) and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reiterated their commitment to working closely to achieve an expeditious conclusion to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership by the end of 2019.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

OSAKA - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong met Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday evening (June 27) ahead of the Group of 20 Leaders' Summit (G-20) in Osaka.

During their meeting, PM Lee welcomed the Japanese G-20 Presidency's efforts to strengthen engagement between the G-20 heavyweights and the wider United Nations membership through the Global Governance Group (3G), said a spokesman from the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).

The 3G is an informal coalition of 30 small and medium-sized states, including Singapore.

Mr Lee and Mr Abe also reaffirmed the excellent relations between Singapore and Japan, noting that both sides were pursuing new areas of bilateral cooperation, including infrastructure development in third countries.

They reiterated their commitment to working closely to achieve an expeditious conclusion to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), by the end of this year.

The mega trade pact involves Asean's 10 member states and six of its key partners - China, India, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia.

PM Lee is in Japan on a working visit until Sunday. He is attending the G-20 Summit at the invitation of his Japanese counterpart.

 
 

Singapore is one of eight non-G-20 countries invited to attend the summit.

Mr Lee thanked Mr Abe for the invitation and expressed support for the ambitious and forward-looking agenda of Japan's G-20 Presidency. The summit is taking place against a backdrop of trade and geopolitical tensions, and will include a meeting between United States President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Leaders from 20 economic heavyweights are attending the summit.

PM Lee is accompanied on his visit by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, and senior officials from their respective ministries.

Officials from the PMO and Monetary Authority of Singapore are also part of the delegation.