|Singapore's Minister for Foreign Affairs K. Shanmugam (L) shakes hands with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Singapore, Jan. 11, 2013. Fumio Kishida is on his visit to Singapore. (Xinhua/Then Chih Wey)
SINGAPORE, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- Singapore's foreign minister and his Japanese counterpart exchanged views on boosting bilateral economic cooperation Friday, according to Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Fumio Kishida, who was on his first overseas visit since his appointment as Japanese foreign minister, met with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Friday. Separately, he met and was hosted to lunch by his Singaporean counterpart K Shanmugam, the ministry said in a statement.
The Singapore leaders and Kishida "reaffirmed the excellent bilateral ties and close cooperation between Singapore and Japan, which are underpinned by longstanding and deep economic and business links," the statement said.
The bilateral trade and investment has expanded steadily since the conclusion of the Japan-Singapore Economic Partnership Agreement (JSEPA) in 2002. Both countries also work closely under the Japan-Singapore Partnership Program for the 21st Century ( JSPP21) to extend joint technical assistance to other countries in the region.
"Our leaders discussed with Minister Kishida how both countries could further strengthen cooperation in the bilateral and regional context through the JSEPA, JSPP21 and other mechanisms," it said.
The statement mentioned briefly that both sides have been engaged in an exchange of views on regional political and security developments.