PM Lee & other S'pore leaders pay tribute to Japan ex-PM Shinzo Abe

PM Lee called him "a good friend of Singapore".

Zhangxin Zheng | July 10, 2022, 09:52 AM

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Former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated on Jul. 8, 2022.

He was 67.

Tributes poured in following Abe's death, including from Singapore leaders.

PM Lee: "A good friend of Singapore"

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong described Abe as a "good friend of Singapore" and condemned the assassination as "a senseless act of violence".

PM Lee described what happened to be "a deeply shocking and distressing incident".

PM Lee's condolence letter to Japanese PM Fumio Kishida

In his condolence letter to current Japan PM Fumio Kishida on Jul. 9, PM Lee said that Abe's support allowed Singapore-Japan relations to grow from strength to strength, with cooperation expanding in many areas such as trade and investments, innovation, infrastructure development, smart cities, and cultural exchanges.

PM Lee also said that Abe will always be remembered as a "good friend of Singapore", having made special effort to attend the funerals of Singapore’s founding PM Lee Kuan Yew and Singapore President S R Nathan.

He called Abe "an active international statesman, who deepened Japan’s engagement with regional groupings such as ASEAN and APEC", and praised his vision and leadership in concluding the CPTPP.

President Halimah Yacob: May Abe's family "find strength"

President Halimah Yacob said she hopes Abe's family and the people in Japan can "find strength during this difficult time".

Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean: Deepest condolences to his family

Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean recalled two meetings with Abe and said he was saddened to hear about the news.

DPM Heng: "Dedicated and transformative leader"

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat remembers Abe as a "dedicated and transformative leader".

Heng also described Abe as a "long-time friend of Singapore".

DPM Lawrence Wong: Abe's "resolve and strength"

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong remembered Abe for his "resolve and strength" when he shared his plans to revive the Japanese's economy.

Abe was known for his economic strategy, which was coined as "Abenomics".

Minister for Home Affairs and Law K Shanmugam: He knew what he wanted for Japan

Minister for Home Affairs and Law K Shanmugam called the assassination a "despicable murder".

Shanmugam added that if such an incident can happen in Japan, it can happen anywhere.

Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan: "leader who made time for younger foreign visitors"

Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said that Abe "was a leader with great vision and passion for transforming Japan in the face of many global challenges".

At a personal level, he said that he will remember a leader who made time for younger foreign visitors, generously shared strategic perspectives, and had a ready smile.

Source: Vivian Balakrishnan Facebook.

Ex-Foreign minister George Yeo: A "strong leader" who "gave a new spirit to Japan"

Former Foreign Minister George Yeo paid the following tributes to Abe in South China Morning Post, subsequently shared with

"Abe was a strong leader. He gave a new spirit to Japan and enhanced Japan’s stature in the world. Although Abe’s views were of the right, he was able to improve bilateral relations with China. When the US pulled out of the TPP, it was principally Abe who rescued it by turning it into the CPTPP. That is a historic contribution to peace and economic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. Abe had a good relationship with PM Lee. Under Abe, Japan-Singapore relations grew from strength to strength.

When I was in government, Abe took particular interest in Singapore’s biotech development. As MTI, I once escorted him on a visit to IMCB.He was also keen to find out more about our IR development as he was hoping to introduce something similar in Japan.


After his second retirement, his views moved further to the right, reflecting those of the faction he led. He was a patriot and will be remembered as such by the Japanese people. Singapore has lost a good friend".

Top image by MCI via PM Lee's Facebook page, Halimah Yacob's Facebook page