Foreign Minister Nakasone's Talks with Foreign Minister Kasit of Thailand
(Overview of Results)
January 10, 2009
At talks held in Bangkok from 16:25 to 17:10 on January 10, 2009, Mr. Hirofumi Nakasone, Minister for Foreign Affairs, exchanged views with H.E. Mr. Kasit Piromya, Foreign Minister of Thailand, on the two countries' cooperation on (1) Japan-Thailand bilateral relations; (2) Japan-ASEAN relations; (3) Japan-Mekong relations; and (4) other regional issues and issues relating to the international community.
1. Japan-Thailand Bilateral Relations
(1) The two Foreign Ministers agreed on the importance of securing the smooth implementation of the Agreement between Japan and Thailand for an Economic Partnership, thereby further strengthening relations between the two countries, including economic relations. Mr. Kasit observed that this was the first meeting at the ministerial level since the inauguration of the new administration, and thanked Mr. Nakasone for the congratulatory message received by Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva from Japan's Prime Minister Taro Aso, and for Mr. Nakasone's congratulatory message to Mr. Kasit on the inauguration of Mr. Abhisit's government.
(2) Mr. Nakasone observed that the number of Japanese and other foreign tourists visiting Thailand had decreased as a result of the seizure of Bangkok International Airport last year, and asked the Thai government to make efforts to restore confidence. In response, Mr. Kasit referred to Prime Minister Abhisit's policy speech in December 2008, and explained his government's policy in this regard. He said that the Thai government had adopted a clear policy of transparency, and that no recurrence of antigovernment demonstrations was expected. He expressed his firm belief that the situation in Thailand would return to normal.
2. Japan-ASEAN Relations
(1) Foreign Minister Nakasone stated that Japan attached importance to its relationship with ASEAN, and that Japan would cooperate closely with Thailand, currently the ASEAN chair. At the same time, in the present global financial crisis and economic recession, it is important for all countries in the region to send a common message regarding measures to deal with the situation. For this reason he hoped that the East Asia Summit and other related meetings would be held at an early time.
(2) In response, Mr. Kasit affirmed the importance of Japan-Thailand cooperation in the context of Japan-ASEAN relations. Regarding the schedule for meetings, he said he first wanted to hold a summit meeting of the 10 member countries of ASEAN at the end of February, and then to hold the East Asia Summit and other related meetings in the latter half of April. He intended to organize these meetings at an early time.
3. Japan-Mekong Relations
(1) Mr. Nakasone first presented a badge commemorating Mekong-Japan Exchange Year 2009 to Mr. Kasit, which Mr. Kasit immediately put on.
(2) 2009 has been designated as Mekong-Japan Exchange Year, and the two Foreign Ministers agreed to strive to make it successful. They also agreed to cooperate in their efforts to foster development in the Mekong region in order to redress intra-regional disparities within ASEAN. Mr. Kasit expressed the hope that Japan would play a role in the Mekong region's development.
4. Other Regional Issues and Issues Relating to the International Community
(1) The two Foreign Ministers agreed that it was important that the international community, including Japan and Thailand, should persevere in its efforts toward the democratization of Myanmar.
(2) Mr. Nakasone said that, as a member of the United Nations Security Council, Japan would continue to actively contribute toward peace and stability in the international community. Mr. Kasit congratulated Mr. Nakasone that Japan was elected and would take office, in 2009, as a nonpermanent member of the Security Council.
(3) The two Foreign Ministers also discussed peace in the Middle East and anti-piracy measures.
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