Talks and Dinner between Foreign Ministers of Thailand and Japan

February 28, 2007

On February 26, Mr. Taro Aso, Minister for Foreign Affairs, held talks and had dinner with Mr. Nitya Pibulsonggram, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, who was visiting Japan. The gist of their talks is as follows:

1. On the Outset of the Talks

Foreign Minister Aso expressed congratulations on His Majesty King Bhumibol's 80th birthday this year and said that the close relationship between the Japanese Imperial Family and the Thai Royal Family symbolized the good bilateral relationship and that he hoped to further promote the relationship, taking the opportunity of the 120th Anniversary of Japan-Thailand Diplomatic Relations. Foreign Minister Nitya expressed appreciation for Their Imperial Majesties' visit to Thailand last year, and he handed over a letter addressed to Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, from Mr. Surayud Chulanont, Prime Minister of Thailand.

2. Political Situation in Thailand

Foreign Minister Nitya stated that the democratization process was proceeding under the interim government, and that the Government of Thailand intended to conduct a national referendum on the draft new constitution for the first time in the Thai history, followed by a general election. Foreign Minister Aso said he hoped the democratization process in Thailand would continue to make progress.

3. Japan-Thailand Economic Relations

Foreign Minister Nitya reported on the state of the internal process in Thailand of the Japan-Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement and said that Japanese companies in Thailand had been contributing to the country's economy. Foreign Minister Aso said that domestic industry became competitive through competition with foreign companies.

4. North Korea

Foreign Minister Aso gave an account of the progress of the Six-Party Talks. Foreign Minister Nitya said that the ASEAN countries were also interested in the issue of the Korean Peninsula.

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