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PM Lee conveys 'deepest condolences' to Japan PM Kishida over death of Shinzo Abe

PM Lee conveys 'deepest condolences' to Japan PM Kishida over death of Shinzo Abe

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong shakes hands with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe before their meeting at the state guest house in Tokyo on Sep 28, 2016. (File photo: AFP/Franck Robichon)

SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has conveyed his “deepest condolences” to Japan following the death of former prime minister Shinzo Abe.

In a letter to Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Saturday (Jul 9), PM Lee extended his condolences on the “shocking and tragic” passing of Mr Abe.

“Singapore strongly condemns this senseless act of violence,” he said. 

Mr Abe died on Friday afternoon, hours after a man shot him at an election campaign event in the western region of Nara. Japanese media reported that the suspect, who has been taken into custody, used what appeared to be a homemade firearm. 

As Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, Mr Abe made significant contributions. 

This was done through his signature reforms, such as Abenomics, which developed Japan’s economy and society, said Mr Lee, who noted that it improved the lives of the ordinary Japanese people.

“I had the privilege of working with Mr Abe for almost a decade. With his support, Singapore-Japan relations grew from strength to strength, with cooperation expanding in many areas such as trade and investments, innovation, infrastructure development, smart cities, and cultural exchanges,” said Mr Lee.

“Mr Abe’s close ties to Singapore were evident in his special effort to attend the State Funeral of Singapore’s founding Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew in 2015 and the Lying in State of former Singapore President Mr S R Nathan in 2016, which Singapore greatly appreciated.”

Mr Lee also lauded Mr Abe’s achievements as an active international statesman, who deepened Japan’s engagement with regional groupings such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). 

“Mr Abe’s passing will be felt deeply in Japan, Singapore and around the world. My thoughts are with you and the people of Japan during this period of grief,” wrote Mr Lee. 

Mr Lee’s letter is reproduced in full below:

Letter from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio

9 July 2022

Dear Prime Minister Kishida,

On behalf of the Government of Singapore, I express my deepest condolences on the shocking and tragic passing of former Prime Minister of Japan Mr Abe Shinzo. Singapore strongly condemns this senseless act of violence.

As Japan’s longest-serving Prime Minister, Mr Abe had made significant contributions to Japan through his signature reforms, such as Abenomics, which developed Japan’s economy and society, and improved the lives of the ordinary Japanese people.

I had the privilege of working with Mr Abe for almost a decade. With his support, Singapore-Japan relations grew from strength to strength, with cooperation expanding in many areas such as trade and investments, innovation, infrastructure development, smart cities, and cultural exchanges. For example, the first review of the Japan-Singapore New-Age Economic Partnership Agreement was successfully concluded under Mr Abe’s leadership. Mr Abe’s close ties to Singapore were evident in his special effort to attend the State Funeral of Singapore’s founding Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew in 2015 and the Lying in State of former Singapore President Mr S R Nathan in 2016, which Singapore greatly appreciated. Mr Abe will always be remembered as a good friend of Singapore.

Mr Abe was an active international statesman, who deepened Japan’s engagement with regional groupings such as ASEAN and APEC. During Mr Abe’s term in office, Singapore and Japan worked closely together to promote a free, open and inclusive regional architecture, as well as multilateralism and trade liberalisation. The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership would not have been successfully concluded without Mr Abe and Japan’s vision and leadership.

Mr Abe’s passing will be felt deeply in Japan, Singapore and around the world. My thoughts are with you and the people of Japan during this period of grief.

Yours sincerely,

LEE HSIEN LOONG

Source: CNA/zl
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