High-speed rail and the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement were among key topics discussed during a meeting between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in Tokyo on Wednesday.
The pair spoke about the possible introduction of Japan’s high-speed railway system in Singapore, and Lee urged the Japanese Diet to ratify the TPP pact.
The two leaders, facing reporters after the meeting, also said they discussed territorial disputes in the South China Sea.
Lee and Abe agreed on “the importance of the rule of law and collaboration in the international community,” Abe told reporters at the State Guesthouse in Tokyo’s Akasaka district.
“Singapore is a nonclaimant state” and does not take sides with any countries involved in the South China Sea territorial disputes, Lee said.
But the city state does have “key interests to protect,” including freedom of navigation and overflight as well as “rule-based regional and international order,” he said.
Lee, who arrived in Japan on Tuesday for a four-day visit, came to mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of official diplomatic ties between the two nations.
Abe and Lee apparently arranged their statements on the South China Sea issue to keep China in check. Abe has sought to issue similar joint remarks during meetings with other world leaders.
During the news conference, Lee called the TPP deal “strategically important.”
“Japan’s participation (in the TPP) is very important because Japan is the second-largest economy in it and the third-largest economy in the world,” he said.
Regarding Japan’s shinkansen system, the two countries agreed to hold a vice ministerial meeting by the end of this fiscal year.
“I told Mr. Abe that absolutely Singapore wishes to have the best technology for high-speed rail,” Lee told reporters.
“We are working with the Malaysian government to ensure a rigorous, objective, and high-standard process for tender.”
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