Japan-Thailand Relations

December 17, 2023
Prime Minister Kishida shakes hand with Prime Minister Sretthas (Photo: Cabinet Public Affairs Office)
Japan-Thailand Summit Meeting (Photo: Cabinet Public Affairs Office)
Prime Minister Kishida presented Prime Minister Sretthas with a bottle of Okinawan Awamori (Photo: Cabinet Public Affairs Office)

On December 17, commencing at 3:15 p.m. for approximately 30 minutes, Mr. KISHIDA Fumio, Prime Minister of Japan, held a Summit Meeting with H.E. Mr. Srettha Thavisin, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the Kingdom of Thailand, who was visiting Japan to attend the Commemorative Summit for the 50th Year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation. The summary of the meeting is as follows. At the outset of the meeting, the two leaders had a tete-a-tete with only interpreters present.
After the meeting, Prime Minister Kishida presented Prime Minister Srettha with a bottle of Okinawan Awamori, which is made from Thai rice, as a symbol of friendship between the two countries.

1. Introduction

Prime Minister Kishida welcomed Prime Minister Srettha’s visit to Japan and expressed his desire to work with Prime Minister Srettha to further strengthen close economic relations between the two countries, as well as to strengthen cooperation with Thailand and other ASEAN countries with a view to maintaining and strengthening a free and open international order based on the rule of law and ensuring a world where human dignity is protected. In response, Prime Minister Srettha appreciated Japan’s warm welcome and stated that during his visit to Japan, he has worked to invite more investment in Thailand through meetings with those from Japanese private companies and holding investment seminars. Prime Minister Srettha also stated that Thailand attaches importance to investment from Japan and expressed his desire to further strengthen cooperation with Japan particularly on the economic front.

2. Bilateral relations

Prime Minister Kishida referred to the strengthening of cooperation in the energy sector between the two countries through the Asia Zero Emission Community (AZEC) Leaders Meeting and other initiatives, and expressed Japan’s particular intention to launch “Energy and Industry Dialogue” with Thailand, which is to discuss such issues as how to maintain and strengthen Thailand’s competitiveness as production and export hub of next generation automobile industry. Prime Minister Srettha agreed to consider launching the dialogue, and the two leaders instructed relevant ministries and agencies to accelerate its coordination. In addition, Prime Minister Srettha expressed his desire to continue to work with Japan including in the energy sector and digital sector. Prime Minister Srettha also referred to the automobile industry and expressed his desire to support the activities of Japanese auto-related companies operating in Thailand.

Furthermore, Prime Minister Srettha stated that Thailand has decided to exempt Japanese business people visiting Thailand for a short period time from visa requirements for the purpose of further accelerating investment between the two countries. In response, Prime Minister Kishida appreciated Thailand’s decision and stated that he is convinced that this initiative will encourage more active investment from Japan in Thailand.

3. Regional and international affairs

Regarding the situation surrounding Israel and Palestine, Prime Minister Kishida referred to the release of some hostages of Thai nationality and expressed hope for the release of the remaining hostages. In response, Prime Minister Srettha expressed his desire to continue to work with the relevant countries to realize the release of all hostages.

Furthermore, the two leaders exchanged views regarding Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and the situation in East Asia, such as North Korea, including the issue of its nuclear and missile programs and the abductions issue, as well as the regional and international affairs, such as the situation in Myanmar.

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