Talking about the region, ASEAN and Japan share fundamental principles such as the rule of law, freedom of navigation and free trade. ASEAN member states are among the most important strategic partners for Japan. Japan welcomes the “ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific,” which envisages ASEAN centrality as the underlying principle for promoting cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region. This is in line with Japan’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific concept.
I am thrilled to see the people-to-people exchange between Japan and Singapore becoming increasingly dynamic. In 2019, nearly one in eight Singaporeans visited Japan, while Singapore received more than 880,000 Japanese visitors.
In that year, the Embassy of Japan in Singapore celebrated the 10th Anniversary of its Japan Creative Centre (JCC), its cultural arm, by bringing to Singapore the first-ever performance of Bunraku, which is one of the traditional performing art forms of Japan and designated as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Going forward, Japan will continue to cooperate with Singapore and other members of ASEAN to contribute to peace and prosperity of the region and beyond.