Japan-Thailand Relations

November 16, 2015
On November 16, commencing at 9:30 a.m. for approximately 50 minutes, Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan held a meeting with H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand during his visito to Manila, the Republic of the Philippines to attend an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ministerial meeting. The overview is as follows.

1 Minister Kishida congratulated Foreign Minister Don on his assuming, conveyed his condolences on the numerous victims of the explosion in central Bangkok, and thanked the Thai government for its support regarding the Japanese casualty. Furthermore, he stated that the acts of terrorism occurred in Paris are an assault against the values that Japan and Thailand share and seek to protect, and that the international community should act in solidarity and resolutely condemn these acts. He noted that Japan intends to take measures against terrorism in close collaboration with the international community including Thailand.        

Minister Don appreciated Minister Kishida for his condolences regarding the explosion in Bangkok, and stated that in regard to the acts of terrorism in Paris, Japan and Thailand share the same values, and that Thailand intends to cooperate with Japan in the fight against terrorism.

2 Minister Kishida stated that it is delightful that as ''Strategic Partners,'' Japan and Thailand are engaging in vigorous high-level exchanges. Since many Japanese citizens are residing in Thailand and the operations of Japanese companies are very lively there, he requested that safety is ensured for such Japanese residents and a good investment environment is maintained and further developed. In addition, Minister Kishida stated that he intends to promote cooperation between Japan and Thailand in various fields such as the development of railways and other infrastructure in Thailand. He explained that particular consideration is being given to the prompt realization of investments in a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) in a Dawei development project, surveys related to a road from the Thailand border to Dawei are scheduled to be completed in January next year, JICA experts are being utilized, and Japan intends to participate in a full-fledged manner. In regard to a document related to agricultural cooperation that was agreed upon at a foreign ministers' meeting in July, Minister Kishida stated that Japan intends to provide its consent at an early date and thereby further advance agricultural cooperation. Furthermore, he commented that he wishes that the process of restoring democracy in Thailand will progress quickly so as to help the development of such cooperation.

Minister Don stated that he understands that Japan has made extensive investments in Thailand and that 64,000 Japanese citizens are residing in the country. He added that Thailand will be able to cooperate regarding the north-south railways and east-west roadways that Japan has been interested in, as well as the Dawei development project. He stated that going forward he intends to assist with bilateral cooperation related to economic partnership agreements, special economic zones, and future prospects regarding investment and trade.             

3 Minister Kishida explained that ensuring stability in the South China Sea is extremely important for regional peace and prosperity, and that Japan has been appealing for a peaceful resolution based on the rule of law. He then conveyed that at the up-coming ASEAN-related summit meeting, ASEAN should be united in addressing this matter and put forth a strong message. The ministers also affirmed that they will cooperate in the international arena in relation to United Nations Security Council reforms and so on.

Minister Don explained the initiatives of Thailand related to the South China Sea during the period when it was serving as the Country Coordinator for ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations, and commented on the importance of resolving issues through dialogues and ASEAN being united in addressing such issues. He added that Thailand intends to continue cooperating with Japan in the international arena.         

4 Minister Don commented that he wishes to visit Japan, but first all would like to welcome Minister Kishida to Thailand in the near future. He also provided an explanation concerning the process of restoring democracy in Thailand, and stated that Thailand hopes to learn from the experience of Japan in relation to reforms for democratization.

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