Japanese PM visits Thailand to discuss bilateral relations, Myanmar crisis


Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is expected to hold talks with his Thai counterpart Prayuth Chan-ocha on economic issues, upheaval in Myanmar and Russia’s war in Ukraine when they meet on Monday amid his overseas tour in five countries.

Kishida arrived in Thailand on Sunday after visits to Indonesia and Vietnam. He is due to travel to Italy and the UK after Thailand.

Japanese economic investment has been key to Thailand’s industrialization over the past six decades, particularly in the automotive industry, which is now looking to expand into the electric vehicle sector.

Also likely to be on their agenda is the violent conflict in Thailand’s neighbor Myanmar, which some experts are calling a civil war.

Several governments imposed sanctions on Myanmar’s military for the takeover last year, and other Southeast Asian countries like Indonesia and Singapore condemned its abuses.

Thailand and Japan share a softer approach and have been less critical of the ruling military.

Thailand has significant economic interests in Myanmar and has its own history of military rule. Japan has always had friendly ties with the military governments that have ruled Myanmar for most of the past six decades.

Japanese officials said Kishida would also discuss a possible reciprocal access deal with Thailand, aimed at deepening their defense cooperation.

The agreement would allow joint exercises, training and stationing of their armed forces in each other’s territory.

Kishida discussed the war in Ukraine with Vietnamese leaders on Sunday and said they agreed on respecting international law and rejecting the use of force.

Japan condemned the Russian invasion and joined Western nations in imposing sanctions on Moscow.

Vietnam, like most other Southeast Asian countries, has avoided direct criticism of Russia and called for restraint, respect for the UN charter and dialogue to seek a peaceful solution to the conflict. .

(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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