Home / FOREIGN POLICY / Countries & Regions / Northeast Asia / Japan

Japan

Overview

Singapore and Japan celebrated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations in 2016. The bilateral relationship has deepened and broadened over the years, building on regular high-level exchanges and strong economic ties, to include multifaceted cooperation in non-traditional areas such as counter‑proliferation, defence, environment, biomedical research, export control and cyber-security. 

A key milestone in bilateral economic ties between Singapore and Japan is the Agreement between Japan and the Republic of Singapore for a New-Age Economic Partnership (JSEPA), signed by then-Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong and then-Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in 2002. The agreement was Japan’s first bilateral economic partnership agreement and Singapore’s first with a major trading partner. In 2018, Japan was Singapore’s 8th largest trading partner and 3rd largest investor, while Singapore was Japan’s top Asian and 4th largest foreign direct investor.

Both sides also share many common interests on regional and international issues and collaborate closely under Singapore’s largest and most successful joint training programme with another country – the Japan-Singapore Partnership Programme for the 21st Century (JSPP21) – to provide technical assistance to third countries.

Recent Highlights

Expand All | Collapse All

  • Japanese Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Taro Aso visited Singapore for the SG50 National Day Parade on 9 August.
  • Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong visited Tokyo, Japan from 20 to 22 May to attend the 21st International Conference on The Future of Asia organised by Nikkei Inc. ESM delivered the keynote address at the Conference.
  • Minister (Foreign Affairs) (Law) K Shanmugam visited Japan from 13 to 17 March to attend the 3rd United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, and to officiate at the opening ceremony of the Multi-Purpose Community Hall in Rikuzentakata, Singapore’s largest reconstruction project funded by the Singapore Red Cross following the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.  
  • Japanese Governor of Hokkaido Prefecture Harumi Takahashi visited Singapore from 13 to 15 January to attend the opening of the Hokkaido Government Representative Office in Singapore.
  • Senior Minister of State (Prime Minister’s Office) (Foreign Affairs) (Transport) Josephine Teo led the Singapore delegation at the 18th Singapore-Kagoshima Conference held on 19 January in Singapore.
  • Japanese Urasenke Grand Master XV, Daisosho Dr Genshitsu Sen visited Singapore from 12 to 15 April. He conducted a ritual tea dedication and tea sharing at the Istana and the Asian Civilisations Museum to commemorate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Singapore and Japan.
  • Minister (Foreign Affairs) Dr Vivian Balakrishnan made an introductory visit to Tokyo, Japan from 24 to 27 April. Minister delivered the keynote address at the 11th Japan-Singapore Symposium. The visit coincided with the exact date that Singapore-Japan diplomatic relations were established on 26 April 1966.
  • Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong visited Tokyo, Japan from 29 to 31 Mayto attend the 22nd International Conference on The Future of Asia organised by Nikkei Inc. ESM delivered the keynote address at the Conference.
  • Japanese Minister of Defence Gen Nakatani visited Singapore on 4 June. He delivered a speech at the 15th Shangri-La Dialogue.
  • Japanese Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Keiichi Ishii visited Singapore on 22 July.
  • Japanese State Minister of Foreign Affairs Nobuo Kishi visited Singapore from 1 to 2 September.
  • Japanese Minister in charge of Economic Revitalisation, Minister in charge of Total Reform of Social Security and Tax, and Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy Nobuteru Ishihara visited Singapore on 7 September.
  • Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong visited Tokyo, Japan from 26 to 29 September to receive the posthumous award of the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers on behalf of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew.
  • President Tony Tan Keng Yam made a State Visit to Japan from 28 November to 6 December, in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Singapore and Japan.
  • Senior Minister of State (Prime Minister’s Office) (Foreign Affairs) (Transport) Josephine Teo visited Tokyo, Japan from 12 to 14 February.
  • Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong visited Tokyo, Japan from 4 to 7 June to attend the 23rd International Conference on The Future of Asia organised by Nikkei Inc. ESM delivered a keynote speech at the Conference.
  • Japanese Minister in charge of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games Tamayo Marukawa visited Singapore from 31 July to 2 August.
  • Senior Minister of State (Foreign Affairs) (Defence) Dr Mohamad Maliki Osman led the Singapore delegation at the 12th Japan-Singapore Symposium held in Singapore on 24 October.
  • Minister of State (PMO) (Foreign Affairs) (Manpower) Sam Tan led the Singapore delegation to the 19th Singapore-Kagoshima Conference (SKC) held in Kagoshima, Japan on 11 January.
  • Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Taro Kono made an Official Visit to Singapore from 10 to 12 February.
  • Senior Minister of State (Defence) (Foreign Affairs) Dr Mohamad Maliki Osman visited Tokyo, Japan from 7 to 8 March to attend the OECD Southeast Asian Regional Programme (SEARP) Ministerial Conference.
  • Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean visited Tokyo, Japan from 9 to 11 June to attend the 24th International Conference on the Future of Asia organised by Nikkei Inc. DPM delivered a keynote speech at the Conference. 
  • Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Taro Kono visited Singapore from 1 to 5 August to attend the 25th ASEAN Regional Forum.
  • Japanese Lower House Member Yuko Obuchi visited Singapore from 19 to 23 August as the 10th Temasek Programme participant.
  • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Singapore from 14 to 16 November to attend the 33rd ASEAN Summit and Related Summits.
  • Minister (Foreign Affairs) Dr Vivian Balakrishnan visited Tokyo, Japan from 3 to 5 December.
  • Japanese President of the House of Councillors Chuichi Date visited Singapore from 13 to 15 January.
  • Minister (Trade and Industry) Chan Chun Sing visited Tokyo, Japan on 19 January to attend the inaugural Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Commission meeting.
  • Senior Minister of State (Law) (Health) Edwin Tong visited Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan from 11 to 13 March. SMS delivered the keynote address at the Japan-Singapore International Legal and Dispute Resolution Conference.
  • Senior Parliamentary Secretary (Foreign Affairs) (Trade and Industry) Tan Wu Meng led the Singapore delegation to the 13th Japan-Singapore Symposium held in Tokyo, Japan from 18 to 19 March.
  • Minister (Environment and Water Resources) Masagos Zulkifli visited Niigata, Japan from 11 to 12 May to attend the G20 Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting.
  • Minister (Defence) Dr Ng Eng Hen visited Tokyo, Japan from 21 to 23 May.
  • Deputy Prime Minister and Minister (Finance) Heng Swee Keat visited Tokyo, Japan from 29 to 31 May to attend the 25th International Conference on the Future of Asia organised by Nikkei Inc. DPM delivered a keynote speech at the Conference.
  • Japanese Minister of Defense Takeshi Iwaya visited Singapore from 31 May to 2 June to attend the International Institute of Strategic Studies Shangri-La Dialogue.
  • Minister (Trade and Industry) Chan Chun Sing visited Tsukuba, Japan from 8 to 9 June to attend the G20 Ministerial Meeting on Trade and Digital Economy.
  • Minister (National Development) and Second Minister (Finance) Lawrence Wong visited Fukuoka, Japan from 8 to 9 June to attend the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.
  • Senior Minister of State (Trade and Industry) Dr Koh Poh Koon and Senior Minister of State (Environment and Water Resources) Dr Amy Khor visited Karuizawa, Japan from 15 to 16 June to attend the G20 Ministerial Meeting on Energy Transitions and Global Environment for Sustainable Growth.
  • Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong visited Osaka, Japan from 27 to 30 June to attend the G20 Leaders’ Summit. PM was accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister (Finance) Heng Swee Keat and Minister (Foreign Affairs) Dr Vivian Balakrishnan.
  • Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong visited Yokohama, Japan from 27 to 30 August to attend the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development. ESM delivered a speech at the Conference.
  • Minister (Manpower) Josephine Teo visited Matsuyama and Tokyo, Japan from 31 to 2 September to attend the G20 Labour and Employment Ministers’ Meeting.

Travel Page