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S'pore lifts restrictions on Japanese food imports

Singapore will lift restrictions on food imports from Japan, which were imposed following the Fukushima nuclear incident, with immediate effect. Singapore also welcomed Japan's desire to contribute more to peace in the region.

SINGAPORE: Singapore will lift restrictions on all Japanese food imports with immediate effect.

The restrictions were imposed on several prefectures after the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011, though they were gradually eased over the years.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that when he met his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe on Saturday morning.

"Last year, when I met Mr Abe in May, he raised with me the question on food imports from Japan and that we had some restrictions on the food imports after the Fukushima accident.

“Since then, we have reviewed the situation in Singapore and I informed Mr Abe just now, that we've agreed to lift import restrictions on all Japanese food products immediately,” said Mr Lee.

Bilateral and regional issues were discussed during the meeting, and Mr Lee welcomed Japan's desire to contribute more to peace in the region within the US-Japan security alliance.

He also responded to the keynote speech delivered by Mr Abe at the Shangri-La Dialogue on Friday night.

Mr Abe had signalled Japan's desire to make proactive contributions to peace in the region.

"I told Mr Abe that we welcome Japan's desire to contribute more to the peace and security of the region, within the framework of the US-Japan security alliance.

“We also had a good exchange on regional developments, including the situation in the South China Sea and the Senkaku and Diaoyu islands, when in both areas there have been developments even within the last few weeks and days,” said Mr Lee.

On the economic front, Mr Abe noted that Japan is introducing "bold deregulation" as part of efforts to push forward reforms in the country.

"I invite Singaporean investors to seriously consider investing in Japan.

“In economic partnerships, we agreed to collaborate towards the early conclusion of the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) and RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) and to conduct a general review of the Japan-Singapore economic partnership agreement,” said Mr Abe.

2016 will mark the 50th year since Japan and Singapore established diplomatic ties, and both leaders recognised the regular contact that they have had over the years.

Mr Abe also said with the close relationship, he is convinced that both countries can play a proactive role in contributing to the stability and prosperity of the region.

Mr Abe was also hosted to lunch at the Istana by Mr Lee. 

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