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In an increasingly unstable world, trust is paramount: 16th Japan-Singapore Symposium (JSS) 

14 Mar In an increasingly unstable world, trust is paramount: 16th Japan-Singapore Symposium (JSS) 

Strengthening the Asia-Pacific trade and security architecture amongst areas highlighted to deepen Japan-Singapore bilateral ties amid the unstable global order.

 

Singapore, Tuesday, 14 March 2023:  Singapore and Japan reaffirmed their strong bilateral ties at the 16th edition of the annual Japan-Singapore Symposium, amid an unstable global order. The JSS has since served as a key platform that brings together opinion leaders from the two countries to exchange views on key bilateral, geopolitical, and economic issues. This year’s symposium explores how Japan and Singapore can deepen their cooperation in keeping the momentum of open and free trade, clean energy transition, digital transformation, and in ensuring peace and stability in the region.

Held on 13th and 14th March 2023, the 16th JSS was co-chaired by Professor Tommy Koh, Ambassador-at-Large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Singapore, and Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae, President, Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA). The event was co-organised by the JIIA and the Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA). Held across two days, the symposium comprised a full day closed-door session on the first day and a public forum in the morning of the second day. The public forum was attended by over a hundred members of the public, academia, and private sector from Japan and Singapore.

In their Opening Remarks, the ambassadors noted that while Japan-Singapore bilateral relationship is in excellent order, the two countries should together meet the new challenges and harness the new opportunities to bring their existing deep and trusting relationship forward to ensure peace, stability, and prosperity in the region.

Following the Opening Remarks, the State Minister of Japan and the Senior Minister of State of Singapore delivered their Keynote Addresses. Minister Sim Ann of Singapore mentioned that after the passage of nineteen years, it is time for Singapore and Japan to review, update and upgrade the Japan-Singapore Economic Partnership Agreement (JSEPA) to keep pace with the changing business community as well as serve as a pathfinder for mutual areas. In his keynote address, Minister Shunsuke Takei said Japan will also work with Singapore to address our common and global issues such as energy and climate change amongst other challenges facing the region and the international community.

Professor Koh moderated a panel titled, “Japan and Singapore: Can they navigate the challenges of a dangerous world?” with panellists –

Mr. Manu Bhaskaran, Founding Director and CEO, Centennial Asia Advisors
Mr. Hiroyuki Akita, Commentator, Nikkei Inc.
Associate Professor Simon Tay, Chairman, Singapore Institute of International Affairs
Professor Yukiko Fukagawa, Professor, Waseda University

 

The public forum reached the conclusion that while Japan and Singapore enjoy strong bilateral relations, their cooperation can be further strengthened through refreshing and upgrading the JSEPA, deepening the ASEAN-Japan friendship and cooperation, and collaborating in such new areas as the digital and green economy, and committing to upholding an open and inclusive regional and international order.

Professor Tommy Koh concluded with an optimistic remark that, in an unstable and dangerous world, Singapore finds comfort in the stable relationships between Japan and Singapore as well as between Japan and ASEAN.

***

 

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More Information 

About the Japan-Singapore Symposium (JSS) 
The JSS was launched in 1994 by then Prime Minister of Japan Mr Murayama Tomiichi and then Prime Minister of Singapore Mr Goh Chok Tong. It began as a Track 1.5 forum between the Japanese and Singapore government and business leaders, and scholars, focusing on business and economic cooperation and bridge-building between the two countries. Held biennially since 1995, the JSS provides opportunities for representatives of different sectors from both countries to exchange views on issues of interest, and get to know one another better. On 26 April 2016, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Japan and Singapore, both countries announced that the JSS would be upgraded to an annual event.

About the Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA) 
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Established in 1962, the Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA) is a non-profit and independent think tank committed to producing policy analysis, fostering in-depth dialogues and bridging gaps between policymakers, private sector decision-makers and experts to shape public policy and social responses. Centred around ASEAN focused themes, the institute aims to deliver policy analysis in international affairs and on issues driving environmental sustainability. The SIlA has been consistently ranked as one of the leading think tanks in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, in the Global Go To Think Tank Index by the University of Pennsylvania. Since 2017, the SIlA was ranked the No. 1 independent think tank in Asia. It was also recognised as one of the top 50 think tanks globally, excluding the United States of America. For two consecutive years since 2019, it was recognised as the No. 1 think tank in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific (excluding India). In 2020, it was also recognised as one of the think tanks with the best policy and institutional response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

About the Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA) 
JIA, founded in 1959, is a private, nonpartisan policy think tank focused on foreign affairs and security issues. In addition to conducting a wide range of research projects, the Institute promotes dialogues and joint studies with other institutions and experts at home and abroad, examines Japan’s foreign policy, makes proposals to the government, and disseminates information on international relations to the public. JIIA, together with its large network of affiliated scholars, aims to serve as an indispensable resource on international affairs in a complex world. For more information about JIIA, visit www.jila.or.jp/en/