Thailand and Japan to forge 'comprehensive strategic partnership'
Thailand and Japan have agreed to consider elevating their bilateral ties from a “strategic partnership” to a “comprehensive strategic partnership” to reflect their “close and progressive relations”, the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday.
The agreement was reached during the Monday’s meeting between Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida at Government House, the ministry said in a statement released on its website.
The two countries established diplomatic relations 135 years ago, and this year marks the 10th anniversary of their strategic partnership.
Kishida paid an official visit to Thailand on May 1-2 as a guest of the Thai government — the first visit by a Japanese prime minister in nine years.
During their meeting, the two prime ministers announced the entry into effect of the 5-Year Joint Strategic Plan on Thailand-Japan Strategic Economic Partnership within this year to serve as a roadmap to steer forward economic relations in potential areas of interest, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Both sides agreed to promote Japanese investment in Thailand’s targeted industries, particularly in electric vehicles, smart electronics, pharmaceuticals, digital and bio-circular-green economy in various parts of Thailand, including the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).
Kishida stressed that Thailand is Japan’s largest manufacturing hub in the region and Japan is ready to cooperate with Thailand to develop various economic sectors, particularly in the electric-vehicle industry and innovative digital startups.
The two leaders also agreed to enhance cooperation in security, defence and judicial affairs, as well as on technical matters in third countries, including the Mekong sub-region.
During their meeting, Prayut and Kishida exchanged views on regional and international situations of mutual interest, including the situation in Myanmar, Ukraine, South China Sea and East China Sea, Korean Peninsula, United Nations Security Council reform, as well as the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, the ministry reported.
The Japanese PM confirmed his attendance at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit to be hosted by Thailand in November.
After their meeting, both prime ministers witnessed the signing of three documents involving financial cooperation, transfer of defence equipment and technology, and Japan’s grant for Covid-19 emergency support.