Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has affirmed that he intends to promote strategic diplomacy in the region, specifically to reinforce cooperation and economic partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The Japanese leader, who is in Singapore on an official visit, made the assertion at a joint press conference held in the country on July 26.

He told his counterpart Lee Hsien Loong that he hopes to link ASEAN dynamics with Japan’s economic development.

In response, the Singaporean host claimed that his country and other ASEAN member nations want to advance ties with Japan.

The same day, PM Abe met US Vice President Joe Biden, who is visiting Singapore at the invitation of PM Lee Hsien Loong to discuss regional issues of mutual concern.

This is the third Southeast Asian trip made by the Japanese PM since December 2012. He visited Indonesia , Vietnam and Thailand in January, Myanmar in May, and Malaysia and Singapore in July this year.

He is scheduled to give an important speech on his economic policies, dubbed “Abenomics”, before travelling to the Philippines on the same day.-VNA