Summary of Japan-Thailand Foreign Ministers' Telephone Talk
December 23, 2011
On Friday, December 23, Foreign Minister Gemba had a telephone meeting with H.E. Dr. Surapong Tovijakchaikul, Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, for about 30 minutes from 18:30. Summary of the telephone talk is as follows:
- Flood in Thailand
Minister Gemba apologized and regretted that he had to postpone his visit to Thailand, which he had planned on the invitation of Minister Surapong during the meeting between the two ministers at this past APEC Foreign Ministerial Meeting. He then conveyed the following points that he was planning to share during his visit to Thailand.
First, Minister Gemba stated that Japan would support as much as possible Thailand's efforts toward recovery and reconstruction from its disastrous flood and proposed a menu of aid plans which Japan can offer (for details, please refer to "Japan's Cooperation for the Recovery from the Flooding Disaster in Thailand" below). Moreover, Minister Gemba expressed appreciation for a cabinet decision by the Thai Government concerning "exemption of customs regarding import of materials and machinery required to be replaced due to the flood". Minister Gemba requested for additional measures from the Thai Government by conveying requests from Japanese companies (such as facilitation of entry and stay of supporting staff from Japan through smooth issuance of visa and work permit, reconstruction of infrastructure such as electricity, water supply for industrial use, etc., which is necessary for restart of factories and plants).
Minister Surapong expressed his sincere gratitude to the Japanese Government for its quick support such as dispatching of a drain pump vehicle team, various survey missions and experts and stated his intention to closely cooperate with Japan towards future recovery and reconstruction. Moreover, Minister Surapong explained measures taken in response to the requests from Japanese companies conveyed by Minister Gemba and stated that Thailand would make its utmost efforts to earn the trust of Japanese companies in investing Thailand.
- North Korea
Minister Gemba stated that it was important that the death of Kim Jong-il, Chairman of the National Defense Commission of North Korea, would not have a negative impact on the peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. Referring to an abduction case of a Thai citizen by North Korea, he expressed his intention to cooperate with Thailand toward the resolution of the abduction issue. Minister Surapong stated that Thailand shared the recognition concerning the importance of maintaining stability on the Korean Peninsula.
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