3 October 2014 | The Nation
Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Minoru Kiuchi, left, pays a courtesy call on Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha at Government House yesterday.
Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha met with Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Minoru Kiuchi yesterday at Government House and asked him to thank Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for sending a congratulatory letter after he was appointed to Thailand's top job.
It marked the first time a foreign minister had visited Prayut since he became prime minister.
Yongyuth Maiyalarp, spokesman for the Prime Minister's Office Ministry, said Prayut explained to Kiuchi the reasons for the coup and the National Council for Peace and Order's rule of the country.
He said the minister understood the situation and invited him to make an official visit to Tokyo but it was likely Prayut would be able to do so this year.
"The Thai prime minister has quite clearly explained the situation in Thailand and the need for the Thai side to look after the stability of the country in various areas in order to enter the third phase [of the NCPO's reform process], and the Japanese vice foreign minister understood the situation that occurred and the importance of maintaining stability," Yongyuth told reporters.
Kiuchi said Japan hoped Thailand embarked on the third phase, which was to return power to the people through elections.
Yongyuth said the prime minister discussed wide-ranging issues with him including those relating to trade, investment and tourism.
He said Prayut urged Japan to invest more in Thailand and transfer more technological and business administration know-how to the country. He also wanted more Japanese to visit Thailand.
Prayut stressed that Thai-Japanese diplomatic relations, now in their 127th year, were strong at the three most important levels - royally, governmentally and between the people. He also expressed confidence that the good relations would continue forever.
The vice foreign minister said he would see to it that his government encouraged more Japanese to visit Thailand.
Kiuchi, who was accompanied by Japanese Ambassador to Thailand Shigekazu Sato, urged Thailand to provide fair treatment to Japanese investors and businesspeople in the Kingdom.
He and Prayut also discussed joint investments at Dawei in Myanmar and Thailand's border areas.
Kiuchi also asked Thailand to relax the measures imposed on Japanese food exports to the Kingdom.
He later met his counterpart, Deputy Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai, and discussed a multilateral relations framework and agreed to support each other in the countries' bids to become non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and members of the UN Human Rights Commission.
Kiuchi reiterated that Japan was interested in investing in basic infrastructure in Thailand including high-speed rail and the water-management scheme.
Don said Thailand would consider everything raised.