Japan and Thailand agree to boost Economic and Strategic ties

Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is on a three-day visit to Japan

Tokyo (JAPAN) – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha  agreed on Monday in Tokyo to further develop the strategic partnership and economic cooperation to promote a special economic zone in Southeast Asia. The leaders of the two countries reiterated their determination to maintain and further develop the strategic partnership between the two countries based on the long-standing amicable relationship.

Japan-Thailand Economic ties

Shinzo Abe and Prayut affirmed Japan’s cooperation in railway and other infrastructure development in Thailand, saying the development of railway transport in Thailand “has an immense significance for further development of the Thai economy and the enhancement of connectivity within the region.” They welcomed the signing of the memorandum of intent on cooperation of the railway sector between the two governments regarding three routes in Thailand including one between Bangkok and Chiang Mai.

“It was very significant that we were able to confirm cooperation in the development of railway transport networks in Thailand and promotion of the Dawei Special Economic Zones project in Myanmar,” Abe said at a joint news conference.

In Monday’s meeting, Abe affirmed Japan’s cooperation in development of the Dawei Special Economic Zone in southern Myanmar, a joint project between Thailand and Myanmar, according to the official.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Thai counterpart Prayut Chan-o-cha, in their meeting, condemned the recent killings of two Japanese men taken hostage by Islamic State militants and agreed to cooperate in the fight against terrorism.

Developing Strategic Partnership

In a meeting in Tokyo, Abe and Prayut agreed to enhance the two countries’ “strategic partnership” and welcomed the Self-Defense Forces’ participation in the Cobra Gold military exercise, an annual multilateral drill that began Monday in Thailand and brings together the two countries and the United States, among others.

In a joint press statement issued after the meeting, the two governments said, “Both sides shared the recognition that the international community must stand united in not giving in to terrorism and work to maintain international peace and security.”

“In this regard, the Thai side very much appreciated the role played by Japan in working toward peace and stability of the Middle East, including its humanitarian assistance to the region,” the statement said.

Thailand Japan dicuss Democracy and other issues

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe confirmed Thailand’s commitment to an early restoration of democracy. Meanwhile Prayuth, a former army chief who took power after a military coup last May, stressed that Thailand will return to democracy soon, saying a new constitution will be drafted as rapidly as possible and a general election will be held at the end of this year or early next year.

“Prime Minister Prayuth is committed to restoring Thailand’s democracy,” Abe said. “Japan strongly hopes that (Thailand) will achieve national reconciliation and restore democracy at the earliest possible date.”

The two leaders reaffirmed their determination to contribute to the greater development of the region and support the realisation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Community by the end of 2015 and beyond.

Meanwhile, Japanese PM also requested that Thailand promptly lift its restrictions on Japanese food imports imposed after the 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima over concerns about radioactive contamination.

Among other issues, the two leaders discussed territorial disputes between China and some Southeast Asian countries in the South China Sea, North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, as well as reform of the U.N. Security Council.

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