Thai leader, Japanese gov't official discuss economic cooperation

3 October 2014 | Kyodo News International


Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha met with a Japanese senior government official on Thursday and discussed economic cooperation, in what marked the first such meeting since he seized power in a bloodless coup last May.

Thai government spokesman Yongyuth Maiyalarb told reporters that Prayuth explained to Minoru Kiuchi, one of Japanese Foreign Ministry's two senior vice ministers, about why the coup happened and about his government's "road map" for restoring civilian rule.

The Japanese Foreign Ministry said separately that Kiuchi voiced Japan's hope that Thailand moves forward with democratization in line with the road map, echoing remarks made by Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida when he met Sept. 25 with Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Tanasak Patimapragon on the sidelines of a U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York.

Kiuchi was said by the Thai side to have conveyed Japan's interest in investment in infrastructure, satellite and flood control projects in Thailand, while the Japanese side said he urged the Thai government to ensure an investment environment that is transparent and fair to Japanese companies.

The Thai spokesman said preparations are under way for Japanese participation in the long-stalled Dawei Special Economic Zone in southern Myanmar, a multibillion-dollar joint project between Thailand and Myanmar.

He said Kiuchi and Prayuth discussed the idea of holding a tripartite meeting in the near future to pave the way for concrete collaborations between the three countries with regard to Dawei.

The Thai leader was said to have encouraged Japanese investment in five special economic zones in border areas of Thailand, while urging that Japanese investment in the country be accompanied by enhanced transfer of technology.

Kiuchi requested that Thai restrictions on Japanese food imports imposed after the 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima over concerns about radioactive contamination should be lifted promptly, the Japanese side said.t-official-discuss-economic-co