During PM Lee Hsien Loong’s meeting with Japanese PM Shinzo Abe and DPM Taro Aso this week, he articulated that Singapore would like to see more robust changes in the ongoing review of the Japan-Singapore Economic Agreement for a New Age Partnership (JSEPA).
The JSEPA, which was initially signed in 2002, has given a leg up to both economies, boosting their trade links and economic development. In 2012, Japan emerged as Singapore’s eighth largest trade partner, with total trade amounting to S$52.1 billion.
Now, in its third review, PM Lee is encouraging his Japanese counterparts to make an ambitious review, rather than minor adjustments.
According to PM Lee, the presence of the Japanese companies in Singapore is one of the factors why Singapore is calling for greater engagement from Japan. Furthermore, the nation’s participation in ASEAN will be mutually beneficial for all parties involved.
Japan and Singapore also exchanged views on the territorial tensions over the Senkaku and Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea. To that, PM Lee said that greater cooperation is required to move forward in the 21st century economy.