Passing of former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew
I offer my deepest condolences on the demise of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew. He was a great political leader who devoted his entire life to building Singapore and making the country prosperous. The founding prime minister built the modern state in a short period of time. I would like to pay tribute anew to the extraordinary leadership he exerted in developing his nation.
Singapore follows the principles of international cooperation and free trade which are major achievements of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew. Singapore is also the first country with which Japan concluded an economic partnership agreement. Mr. Lee Kuan Yew played a key role in developing the Japan-Singapore bilateral relationship leading to the situation that the two countries work in cooperation with each other in the current TPP negotiations. Both Japan and Singapore pursue the principles of democracy and free trade. I am determined to work harder to fasten ties between our two nations.
Japan-China-S. Korea foreign ministers meeting
The foreign ministers of Japan, China and South Korea gathered together for the first time in three years. It was a big step forward. The stable political and diplomatic atmosphere ensure that companies will pursue business opportunities following a simple reason that business is strictly business. The ministers agreed on realizing a summit meeting of the three countries' top leaders at an early date. I welcome the political decision.
Japan, China and South Korea have a great role to play in stabilizing and developing the global economy. I expect that the top leaders of the three nations will express a strong commitment at a future trilateral summit toward an early conclusion of the Japan-China-South Korea FTA negotiations.