BANGKOK ( Associated Press) – Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is expected to talk with his Thai counterpart Prayuth Chan-ocha about economic matters, the turmoil in Myanmar and Russia’s war in Ukraine on Monday, when they return to their five Will meet in between foreign tours of countries.
Kishida arrived in Thailand on Sunday after visiting Indonesia and Vietnam. He is scheduled to visit Italy and the United Kingdom after Thailand.
Japanese economic investment has been crucial to the industrialization of Thailand over the past six decades, particularly in the automotive industry, which is now looking to expand into the electric vehicle sector.
What is likely on his agenda is the violent conflict in Thailand’s neighbor Myanmar, which some experts characterize as a civil war. Several governments have imposed sanctions against Myanmar’s military for taking over in the past year, and other Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia and Singapore have condemned its abuse.
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 a past history of military rule. Japan has historically had friendly relations with the military governments that have ruled Myanmar over the past six decades.
Japanese officials have said that Kishida will also discuss a possible mutual access agreement with Thailand, aimed at deepening their defense cooperation. The agreement will allow for joint exercises, training and deployment of their forces in each other’s territory.
Kishida discussed the war in Ukraine with Vietnamese leaders on Sunday and said they agreed to respect international law and reject the use of force.
Japan has condemned the Russian invasion and has joined Western nations in imposing sanctions against Moscow. Like most other Southeast Asian countries, Vietnam has refrained from criticizing Russia directly and called for restraint, respect for the United Nations Charter and dialogue to seek a peaceful solution to the conflict.