Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has written a condolence letter to Member of the House of Councillors Nakasone Hirofumi on the passing of his father, former Prime Minister Nakasone Yasuhiro. The text of the letter is appended.
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MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
2 DECEMBER 2019
30 November 2019
Dear Mr Nakasone,
I am saddened to learn of the passing of your beloved father, former Prime Minister Nakasone Yasuhiro.
Prime Minister Nakasone was one of Japan’s great leaders. During his term in office, he pursued important economic reforms, such as the privatisation of national railways, telecommunications and tobacco industries, and left a lasting legacy in Japan. He was also an international statesman. As PM, he strengthened Japan’s alliance with the US, and maintained Japan’s relations with China on an even keel. This contributed to stability and peace in Asia during the Cold War years.
Prime Minister Nakasone also played an important role in fostering closer relations between ASEAN and Japan. He visited all five ASEAN countries in 1983, early in his term. His legacy lives on, with Japan building on that foundation and continuing to be a strong supporter and partner of ASEAN.
Prime Minister Nakasone was a good friend of Singapore, and a personal friend of Mr Lee Kuan Yew. He met Mr Lee on a visit to Singapore in May 1983, and reciprocated the hospitality when Mr Lee visited Japan in October 1986. Mr Lee found his direct and forthright exchanges with Prime Minister Nakasone to be refreshing. Their strong personal relationship contributed to the firm foundation underpinning our strong bilateral ties today.
I was privileged to meet Prime Minister Nakasone several times. The first occasion was in 1985, when I attended a meeting between ASEAN and Japanese trade ministers in Tokyo, and he hosted the visiting ministers to lunch. The last occasion was about 10 years ago, when he had long retired, but was still active in his foundation and tracking international affairs as closely and astutely as ever.
Prime Minister Nakasone will be deeply remembered by Singapore. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this time of grief.
LEE HSIEN LOONG
House of Councillors