SINGAPORE: A gala dinner was held on Sunday evening (Oct 23) to celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations between Singapore and Japan.
Speaking at the event, Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said ties between the two countries have grown over the years.
"Japan was heavily involved in Singapore's development, especially since our early years of independence. Japan provided investments, transferred significant technical and industrial know-how and opened markets for us," Dr Balakrishnan said.
"Today, we both enjoy robust economic ties and our partnership has expanded in many areas, including cooperation in cybersecurity, the sharing of experiences and dealing with the challenges of an ageing population, and this perennial, shared problem of low birth rates," he added.
The event was also a celebration of inclusiveness, by showing support for people with special needs.
The Japanese Embassy and Singapore's Foreign Affairs Ministry each received artwork with the words "min" - for people, and "an" - for peace.
It was drawn by Shoko Kanazawa, a Japanese calligrapher with Down Syndrome.
There was also a perfomance by Singapore pianist Azariah Tan, who has severe hearing loss.