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SATURDAY, February 04, 2023
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Japan and Thailand boost alliance with new defence deal

Japan and Thailand boost alliance with new defence deal

TUESDAY, May 03, 2022

Thailand and Japan announced new defence and financial agreements on Monday, boosting their ties in the face of China’s increasing assertiveness in Southeast Asia.

The transfer of military hardware and technology from Japan to Thailand was among three agreements signed by the two countries on the final day of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s trip to Bangkok.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha expressed hope that the new pact will "help promote Japanese investment in the Thai defence industry", according to Kyodo News.

Japan and Thailand boost alliance with new defence deal

The Thai PM added that the two leaders agreed that bilateral relations should be elevated to a “comprehensive strategic partnership".

Details of the defence deal were not disclosed.

Japan and Thailand boost alliance with new defence deal

The Japanese government also agreed to extend a loan of 50 billion yen (about 13 billion baht) to aid Thailand's economic recovery from Covid-19.

Meanwhile, Prayut said Japan had agreed to upgrade the capacity of Thailand’s entire supply chain as part of a five-year economic partnership.

Japan and Thailand boost alliance with new defence deal

Japan is Thailand’s largest foreign investor and a mainstay of the Southeast Asian country’s technology and automaking industries.

Japan and Thailand boost alliance with new defence deal

Kishida also discussed the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which has sent the global price of fuel and other commodities soaring. Thailand and most of its Asean partners have adopted a neutral stance towards Russia, while Japan has joined the Group of 7 countries by punishing Moscow with economic and diplomatic sanctions.

However, Bangkok backed a UN resolution in March condemning Russia’s invasion, and Kishida thanked Prayut for Thailand’s support.

"Prime Minister Prayut and I agreed that we will never tolerate any infringement of sovereignty and territorial integrity in any region, any attempts to change the status quo by force, and we are opposed to the threat by or use of weapons of mass destruction," Kishida said, according to Kyodo News.

Japan and Thailand boost alliance with new defence deal

The two leaders announced the enhanced cooperation in a joint press conference in Bangkok, the last leg of Kishida’s Southeast Asia tour to boost Japan’s defence and economic alliances. Kishida also visited Vietnam and Indonesia.

Japan and Thailand boost alliance with new defence deal

On Tuesday, Kishida left for Europe, where he will visit Italy and the United Kingdom as part of Japan's effort to bolster ties with its allies amid the war between Russia and Ukraine.

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