SINGAPORE: President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong have extended their well-wishes to Japan Emperor Akihito on his abdication from the throne, the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Tuesday (Apr 30).
Emperor Akihito is Japan’s first monarch to abdicate in more than 200 years. He will step down on Tuesday, with his son ascending the throne on Wednesday.
The 85-year-old Akihito will hand the Chrysanthemum Throne to his son, 59-year-old Crown Prince Naruhito, ushering in a new imperial “Reiwa” era.
Mdm Halimah conveyed her deep respect and appreciation to Emperor Akihito on behalf of the people of Singapore.
“Your Majesty leaves behind an indelible legacy for Japan. Your tireless and selfless efforts in working for the people of Japan have become synonymous with the peace and stability of the Heisei period,” Mdm Halimah wrote.
Mdm Halimah also said that Emperor Akihito would be remembered as a well-respected monarch who displayed compassion, dedication to peace and wholehearted devotion to his country and people.
She placed on record her deep appreciation for Emperor Akihito’s strong support of the friendship between Singapore and Japan over the past half century.
During Emperor Akihito’s reign, Singapore-Japan relations developed dynamically, Mdm Halimah said, underpinned by regular political exchanges, robust economic links and deepening people-to-people ties.
The president concluded by wishing Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko continued good health and happiness.
“Just like the pair of King Sago Palms Your Majesties planted in the Japanese Garden in Singapore in 1970, the enduring friendship between Singapore and Japan continues to stand firm and strong today.”
UNWAVERING COMMITMENT TO PEACE
In his letter, Prime Minister Lee congratulated Emperor Akihito on more than 30 years of “wise reign”.
“The Heisei period will be remembered as an era of peace and stability for Japan. Japan dealt with novel economic situations, and adapted to a changing strategic and security environment.
"Your Majesty’s compassion, devotion to your people, and unwavering commitment to peace inspired and guided the Japanese nation in responding to these challenges. The love and respect of your people towards their sovereign reflect this."
Mr Lee said that Emperor Akihito can be proud of Japan’s place in the world, and the admiration it commands from people everywhere.
Mr Lee also wished Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko continued good health, happiness and a well-deserved rest.