Prime Minister Abe's Visit to Thailand (Overview)
January 18, 2013
(Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, accompanied by his wife Akie, visited Bangkok, the Kingdom of Thailand, on Thursday, January 17. The following is an overview of his visit.
1. Japan-Thailand Summit Meeting
Prime Minister Abe met H.E. Ms. Yingluck Shinawatra, Prime Minister of Thailand, at her office for about 1 hour and 30 minutes from around 6:50 p.m. (local time) on January 17. After the meeting, t the two leaders appeared for press remarks.
(1) Bilateral Relations
- Prime Minister Abe stated that Japan would continue to play an active role in maintaining peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific in the light of the changing strategic environment in this region.
- Prime Minister Abe pointed out that Thailand was the largest hub of Japanese corporate activities in Southeast Asia as well as an important partner for Japan, sharing fundamental values such as democracy and the market economy and economic interests. The two leaders shared the recognition that both sides would further advance their "strategic partnership," strengthen their cooperation, and work together to ensure peace and stability and achieve prosperity in the Asia-Pacific.
- Both leaders welcomed the frequent exchanges between their Imperial and Royal families. Prime Minister Abe noted that prior to the summit meeting he had an audience with His Majesty the King Bhumibol Adulyadej at the Siriraj Hospital, adding that he would pray for the good health of the King and the Queen.
- The two leaders shared the view that their countries would closely cooperate with each other for the smooth operation of the Japan-Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement, infrastructure development in Thailand and other matters. On infrastructure projects, both leaders exchanged views on various issues, especially flood control, railways, satellites, and information and communication technology (ICT).
- Both leaders shared the recognition that development of the Dawei area was important in terms of strengthening the connectivity of the Mekong region. Prime Minister Abe said Japan would like to exchange views with the countries concerned while watching developments with interest.
- Referring to people-to-people exchanges in particular, Prime Minister Abe emphasized the importance of continuing and expanding youth exchanges for the future of Asia.
(2) Regional Situation
- On Japan-ASEAN relations, the two leaders hailed the 40th anniversary of Japan-ASEAN Friendship and Cooperation this year, and shared the recognition that both sides would cooperate with each other in strengthening ASEAN connectivity. Prime Minister Abe said Japan would actively support ASEAN integration.
- Concerning the South China Sea, Prime Minister Abe explained Japan's position to the Thai leader, saying that the South China Sea was an issue of common concern to the international community directly connected to the region's peace and stability. Prime Minister Yingluck expressed her understanding of Japan's position and policy, and said Thailand would like to make efforts to help the related countries concerned establish peaceful relations.
- Referring to China, Prime Minister Abe explained the current state of Japan-China relations and noted that the Japan-China relationship was one of the most important bilateral relations, adding that as a responsible country in the region, Japan would like to continue to act calmly and to maintain and strengthen bilateral communication with China. In reply, Prime Minister Yingluck said Thailand now had a better understanding of Japan's position and that Thailand would like to play a constructive role in ensuring better relations among the major countries concerned.
- Concerning the North Korean situation, Prime Minister Abe said that North Korea's recent de facto missile launch was a clear violation of relevant UN Security Council resolutions and was extremely deplorable, and that it was extremely important for the international community to take firm actions. Referring to the abduction issue, he sought the understanding and support of Japan's position by Thailand.
2. Other Main Events
Prior to the Japan-Thailand summit, Prime Minister Abe had conversation with Japanese residents in Thailand, visited the Thai-Nichi Institute of Technology, and had an audience with His Majesty King Bhumibol.
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