SINGAPORE: President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong have extended their congratulations to Japan’s new Emperor Naruhito on his ascension to the throne, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday (May 1).
Emperor Naruhito formally ascended to the Chrysanthemum Throne on Wednesday after his father Akihito’s abdication the day before, marking the start of Japan’s new “Reiwa” imperial era.
READ: Japan's Emperor Naruhito pledges to work as symbol of the people
In her letter dated May 1, Mdm Halimah said she was looking forward to working closely with Emperor Naruhito to continue deepening the relations between Singapore and Japan.
“I am confident that under your reign, 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 wrote.
Mdm Halimah also expressed appreciation for Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko for their support of the friendship between Singapore and Japan.
“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.”
The president concluded by wishing Emperor Naruhito “good health as well as every success in your new role", and said she hoped to welcome him and his wife to Singapore soon.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also extended his congratulations to the new emperor.
In his letter, Mr Lee said that relations between Singapore and Japan were "excellent" and underpinned by many common interests, frequent high-level exchanges, robust economic links, and close people-to-people ties.
"Singapore appreciates the support of their majesties the Emperor Emeritus and Empress Emerita for the strong friendship between Singapore and Japan over the years, including through their historic state visit to Singapore in 2006 marking the 40th anniversary of our diplomatic relations," he said.
The prime minister added that he was confident relations between Japan and Singapore would reach "even greater heights”.
"As we celebrate the auspicious dawn of your reign, I am confident that the relations between our two countries will reach even greater heights," said Mr Lee. "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.”