PM Lee holds separate talks with Japanese and NZ leaders

In between meetings related to the ASEAN Summit, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had separate discussions with his counterparts from Japan and New Zealand yesterday.

Mr Lee and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe affirmed the excellent ties between their two countries, Mr Lee's press secretary Chang Li Lin said. Their wide-ranging discussion covered security and economic issues, and Japan's role and contribution to the region.

Both leaders look forward to completing a review of the Japan-Singapore Economic Partnership Agreement, and to upgrading it in time for next year's Golden Jubilee celebration of bilateral relations. Signed in 2002, the original agreement was Japan's first free trade pact and a major milestone in bilateral ties.

Mr Lee thanked Mr Abe for inviting President Tony Tan Keng Yam to make a state visit in conjunction with the upcoming anniversary.

He also thanked Mr Abe for attending the funeral service for founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew in March.

At the meeting with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, PM Lee thanked him for his country's special parliamentary session to mourn his father.

Both men reaffirmed the long- standing relations between Singapore and New Zealand. They also discussed domestic issues and regional developments. Their meeting follows recent exchanges between leaders from both sides.

Last month, President Tan was in New Zealand, reciprocating the state visit by its Governor-General Jerry Mateparae in July.

This article was first published on November 22, 2015.
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